Smelly oil spill affects manatees, concerns residents in Miami’s Little River

MIAMI – A video shows a manatee trying to swim past an oil spill in one of Miami’s most treasured waterways, and area residents want accountability.

Yanina Barrington said this waterway connects directly to an already threatened Biscayne Bay and this really concerns her.

“This is happening right in our noses in Little River ... It’s very frustrating ... It smells like gasoline,” Barrington said. “It was very strong. I don’t know if the wind was coming this way, it was all over, even in the front of the house, you could smell it.”

Barrington said animal life is abundant in the area.

“We’re made out of water, we need to treat our waters with respect, and it’s not happening,” Barrington said. “This is not a toilet!”

Marybeth Taylor also lives in the area and has the same concerns.

“We understand that businesses exist but we need to co-exist with nature. I mean this is also a sanctuary for manatees,” Taylor said. “There has to be a way to help the manatees and to help nature and to save Biscayne Bay.”

The U.S. Coast Guard is asking anyone with information about the oil spill or to report the sheen to call the National Response Center at 1-800-424-8802.

About the Author:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba.