As part of The Canoe Project’s mission to shed some light on Miami’s forgotten waterways, I spoke to Pamela Sweeney, a bona fide expert on Miami’s canal system and the Biscayne Bay. Sweeney is the Manager of the Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserve.
Sweeney told me all about the cultural and natural histories of the Miami River, the Everglades, Biscayne Bay as well as how they are all connected– even today. Sweeney says, “Most of these canals are not man-made. These are natural tributaries and they have got a lot of natural and cultural history.” You can read our conversation below.
The Miami Circle Site and the Cultural History of Miami’s Waterways
Here at WRLN, one of our intrepid contributors, Terence Cantarella, has embarked on a four day long excursion in a canoe through Miami’s network of canals. His mission: to travel around the county on its forgotten waterways.
We named this journey the Canoe Project– a concerted effort to shed some light on these canals that completely surround us here in Miami.
So far, Terence’s journey has taken him through some beautiful sights and he’s met some interesting people, as he has reported to WLRN. Mostly, he’s been on his own throughout this trip, because many people in Miami don’t interact much with the city’s canals.
Years ago, Terence Cantarella had the idea to navigate Miami-Dade’s canals via canoe. He’s not an experienced paddler or an avid outdoorsman, but he wanted to seize a homegrown opportunity for adventure: “I wasn’t going to explore the world’s oceans like Jacques [Cousteau]. I don’t have the time or money for that. I was going to spend four days circumnavigating Miami-Dade county via the canals.”