Map of Miami neighborhoods. Watson Island is the smallest light-blue area, just above the western end of the elongated green Port of Miami area.
|• City of Miami Commissioner||Marc Sarnoff|
|• Miami-Dade County Commissioners||Bruno Barreiro and Audrey Edmonson|
|• House of Representatives||Carlos Lopez-Cantera (R) and Luis García, Jr. (R)|
|• State Senate||Gwen Margolis (D)|
|• U.S. House||Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R)|
|• Total||0.280 sq mi (0.73 km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-05 (EST)|
|Area code(s)||305, 786|
Watson Island is a neighborhood and man-made island in Biscayne Bay, in Miami, Florida, United States. Immediately east of the Central Business District and Arts & Entertainment District neighborhoods of Greater Downtown Miami, it is connected to the mainland and South Beach, Miami by the MacArthur Causeway.
An island or isle is any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atolls can be called islets, skerries, cays or keys. An island in a river or a lake island may be called an eyot or ait, and a small island off the coast may be called a holm. A grouping of geographically or geologically related islands, such as the Philippines, is referred to as an archipelago.
Biscayne Bay is a lagoon that is approximately 35 miles (56 km) long and up to 8 miles (13 km) wide located on the Atlantic coast of South Florida, United States. It is usually divided for purposes of discussion and analysis into three parts: North Bay, Central Bay, and South Bay. Its area is 428 square miles (1,110 km2). The drainage basin covers 938 square miles (2,430 km2).
Miami, officially the City of Miami, is the seat of Miami-Dade County, and the cultural, economic and financial center of South Florida in the United States. The city covers an area of about 56 square miles (150 km2) between the Everglades to the west and Biscayne Bay to the east. Miami is the sixth most densely populated major city in the United States with an estimated 2018 population of 470,914. The Miami metropolitan area is home to 6.1 million people, the second-most populous in the southeastern United States and the seventh-largest in the nation. The city has the third tallest skyline in the U.S. with over 300 high-rises, 55 of which exceed 490 ft (149 m).
The island was deeded to the city in 1919 with the restriction that it only be used for public or municipal purposes. The city gave it to the state and the state deeded it back to the city with similar restrictions - both in the 1940s. In 1979 the city attempted to circumvent this prohibition by claiming that the underwater land surrounding the island is a preserve and Watson Island need not be protected as per the deed, as a park, or for public ownership and use.
The island had a name change from Causeway Island to Watson Island, named for John W. Watson, Sr., who was Mayor of Miami 1912-1915 and 1917-1919. In 1932 Watson Island was considered for the site of Miami's Pan-American Exposition, a World's Fair and "International Merchandise mart." By the end of the 1940s, however, the site of the Exposition, now called Interama, was moved North to where Oleta River State Park is today.
The Oleta River State Park is a 1,043-acre (4.22 km2) Florida State Park on Biscayne Bay in the municipal suburb of North Miami in metropolitan Miami, Florida. Adjoining the Biscayne Bay Campus of Florida International University, the park contains one of the largest concentrations of Casuarina trees, an invasive species in the state park system.
A Goodyear Blimp base was located on Watson Island from 1930 to 1978, initially on the east side of the island and later on a new landfill area to the west. Goodyear moved the base to Opa-locka Airport after failing to agree on lease renewal terms with the city. Vestiges of the old base still remain such as the imprint of the mooring circle and a paved path for a small tram that would transport passengers to the airship.
The Goodyear Blimp is any one of a fleet of airships or dirigibles operated by the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, used mainly for advertising purposes and capturing aerial views of live sporting events for television. The term blimp itself is defined as a non-rigid airship – without any internal structure, the pressure of lifting gas contained within the airship envelope maintains the vessel's shape.
Grand plans to develop the island started in 1979, with a planned amusement park, Diplomat World. Residents formed "Save Watson Island, Inc", a neighborhood group opposing the use for anything other than a park. They had public demonstrations and because of the demonstrations and a variety of other reasons, the amusement park was never built.
Another development included one from the late 1990s, culminating in 2003 when Jungle Island relocated to Watson. There has been continued controversy stemming from Jungle Island's inability to meet the financing terms it had made with the local municipalities when the move was approved. Local elected officials had and continue to bail out Jungle Island with tax dollars. The Miami Children's Museum also relocated to the island in 2003.The State of Florida offered a site in the Island Gardens project on Watson Island to host the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) Permanent Secretariat. As of March 2006 the Florida Department of Transportation was planning to construct a tunnel from the Port of Miami on Dodge Island under the main shipping channel to the MacArthur Causeway on Watson Island. On May 24, 2010, construction began on the Port of Miami Tunnel; it was completed on August 3, 2014.
Jungle Island, formerly Parrot Jungle, is a relaunched eco-adventure park on Watson Island, Miami, Florida, United States. The park is re-opened following a series of major renovations after the park incurred damage from Hurricane Irma. The park features new pop-up waterslides, an outdoor wind tunnel flight experience, zip lines, escape rooms, a Nerf battle stadium and other attractions.
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is a decentralized agency charged with the establishment, maintenance, and regulation of public transportation in the state of Florida. The department was formed in 1969. It absorbed the powers of the State Road Department (SRD). The current Secretary of Transportation is Kevin J. Thibault, P.E..Meet the Secretary</ref>
Chalk's International Airlines maintained a seaplane base on Watson Island from 1926 until it ceased operation in 2007. As of 2006, the City of Miami is relocating the Miami Heliport to a site adjacent to Chalk's seaplane base, with the intention of creating an Aviation Center serving corporate and tourism needs.
Ichimura Miami – Japanese Garden
The Ichimura Miami - Japanese Garden grew out of the efforts of Kiyoshi Ichimura, who sent objects, materials and artisans from Tokyo to Miami in the 1950s to construct the San-Ai-An Japanese Garden on Watson Island. The garden opened in 1961. As of 2006, the garden was being redesigned and reconstructed.
Jungle Island opened its new facility on Watson Island in 2003. Originally named Parrot Jungle, the popular tourist attraction first opened in the Pinecrest neighborhood of Miami in 1936. Over the years, the attraction came to be a popular attraction for Miami residents and tourists, but that trend reversed once it moved to the smaller and less natural setting of Watson Island. Jungle Island has many fewer animals, and none of the old growth vegetation the original park was known for. Jungle Island hosts Miami's most popular event venue with its Treetop Ballroom.
Miami Children's Museum
The Miami Children's Museum opened a new 56,500-square-foot (5,250 m2) facility on Watson Island in 2003. It has ten galleries, classrooms, birthday party rooms, a parent/teacher resource center, an educational gift shop, a 200-seat auditorium and a dining area.
Miami Outboard Club
The Miami Outboard Club has been located on Watson Island since 1948. It is active in conservation and artificial reef programs, and provides social and educational activities. The club has boat slips, dry storage, a boat lift, a ramp for jet skis and other small craft, and a restaurant, bar and internet cafe.
Miami Yacht Club
The Miami Yacht Club has been located on Watson Island since the late 1940s. It offers youth and adult sailing programs, and sponsors races, regattas and a Sea Scout ship. The club has boat slips, dry storage, and a lounge, bar and restaurant.
Public Boat Ramp
There is a Public Boat Ramp with 50 oversized parking spaces for vehicles with boat trailers.
In 2001, voters approved a bond measurer for what many thought was a public park for Watson Island and later many insisted they were tricked by the wording of the measure. However, the allowance was in fact for the City of Miami's public partnership with a developer for a mega-yacht marina related commercial development concept, Island Gardens.
In 2004 the City of Miami and Miami-Dade County approved Island Gardens, a $281 million, hotel and marina development on Watson Island. The development included two hotels, retail and restaurant space, landscaped promenade gardens and a marina serving mega yachts.An environmental watchdog group sued to halt the project, unsuccessfully.
In 2009 the equity investor Flagstone had signed up withdrew from the project due to global financial crisis and failure of bank syndication. The city forgave the developer, enabling them to keep right of development, extending the deadline for payments.Miami developer Jorge Perez, was interested as a partner in 2013, at which point the project jumped over three times to a proposed $1B project, with interest from the Related Companies. Jorge Perez later pulled out, citing, in part, concern about their expansion regarding City of Miami Beach residents, that the project will cause traffic nightmares on the causeway between the two cities. Flagstone submitted a new outline to the City of Miami that they were not increasing their approved numbers.
Fort Lauderdale is a city in the U.S. state of Florida, 28 miles (45 km) north of Miami. It is the county seat of Broward County. As of the 2018 census, the city has an estimated population of 182,595. Fort Lauderdale is a principal city of the Miami metropolitan area, which was home to an estimated 6,198,782 people in 2018.
Miami Beach is a coastal resort city in Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States. It was incorporated on March 26, 1915. The municipality is located on natural and man-made barrier islands between the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay, the latter of which separates the Beach from the mainland city of Miami. The neighborhood of South Beach, comprising the southernmost 2.5 square miles (6.5 km2) of Miami Beach, along with downtown Miami and the Port of Miami, collectively form the commercial center of South Florida. Miami Beach's estimated population is 92,307 according to the most recent United States census estimates. Miami Beach is the 26th largest city in Florida based on official 2017 estimates from the US Census Bureau. It has been one of America's pre-eminent beach resorts since the early 20th century.
Coconut Grove is the oldest continuously inhabited neighborhood of Miami in Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States. The neighborhood is roughly bound by North Prospect Drive to the south, LeJeune Road to the west, South Dixie Highway and Rickenbacker Causeway to the north, and Biscayne Bay to the east. It is south of the neighborhoods of Brickell and The Roads and east of Coral Gables. The neighborhood's name has been sometimes spelled "Cocoanut Grove" but the definitive spelling "Coconut Grove" was established when the city was incorporated in 1919.
Jackson Park is a 500-acre (2 km²) park located at 6401 South Stony Island Avenue in the Woodlawn community on the South Side in Chicago, Illinois. It extends into the South Shore and Hyde Park nearby neighborhoods, bordering onto Lake Michigan and several other South Side neighborhoods. Named for Seventh President Andrew Jackson, it is one of two Chicago Park District parks with the name "Jackson", the other being Mahalia Jackson Park for the gospel music singer in the Auburn Gresham community on the far southwest side of Chicago.
A regatta is a series of boat races. The term comes from the Venetian-Italian language regata meaning "contest" and typically describes racing events of rowed or sailed water craft, although some powerboat race series are also called regattas. A regatta often includes social and promotional activities which surround the racing event, and except in the case of boat type championships, is usually named for the town or venue where the event takes place.
Virginia Key is an 863-acre (3.49 km2) barrier island in Miami, Florida, United States in Biscayne Bay, south of Brickell and north of Key Biscayne. It is accessible from the mainland via the Rickenbacker Causeway.
The Venetian Causeway crosses Biscayne Bay between Miami on the mainland and Miami Beach on a barrier island in south Florida. The man-made Venetian Islands and non-bridge portions of the causeway were created by materials which came from the dredging of the bay. The Venetian Causeway follows the original route of the Collins Bridge, a wooden 2.5 mi (4 km) long structure built in 1913 by John S. Collins and Carl G. Fisher which opened up the barrier island for unprecedented growth and development.
State Road 886, also known as Port Boulevard, is a causeway connecting the Port of Miami with downtown Miami, Florida. Its western terminus is an intersection with U.S. Route 1 just north of Bayside Marketplace, and its eastern terminus is at the Port of Miami entrance. It received its FDOT designation in 1980.
Elliott Key is the northernmost of the true Florida Keys, and the largest key north of Key Largo. It is located entirely within Biscayne National Park, in Miami-Dade County, Florida, east of Homestead, Florida. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east, Biscayne Bay to the west, Sands Key to the north and Old Rhodes Key to the south. Adams Key is just west of the southern end of Elliott Key. Elliott Key is about seven miles (11 km) long. Its maximum width is about 2,500 feet (760 m) near the north end and its average width is less than 2,000 feet (610 m). The higher elevations on the island range from 6 to 8 feet above sea level and occur generally along an unimproved road that runs longitudinally through the center of the island. The average elevation is about 3 feet (0.91 m) above sea level. The key is accessible only by boat. Elliott Key has a National Park Service campground, but is otherwise uninhabited.
Treasure Island Causeway, part of County Road 150, is a series of three bridges crossing Boca Ciega Bay between Treasure Island and St. Petersburg in Pinellas County, Florida. The bridge is owned and maintained by the City of Treasure Island, which used to charge all motorists $1.00 toll, until June, 2006, when the first span of the bridge was reopened with no toll booth. Residents of two St. Petersburg waterfront communities used to pay a $10 annual road tax to the City of Treasure Island to help support road and median maintenance. That tax was eliminated in the spring of 2007. Treasure Island's ownership of the causeway in St. Petersburg was part of a land agreement entered into when these two cities were born: St. Petersburg's founding fathers purchased the Municipal Beach on the shores of the neighboring Gulf of Mexico community, Treasure Island, outside its own city limits to ensure that residents would have direct access to the Gulf of Mexico for generations to come. The western terminus is an intersection with Gulf Road in Treasure Island.
The General Douglas MacArthur Causeway is a six-lane causeway which connects Downtown, Miami, Florida and South Beach, Miami Beach via Biscayne Bay.
Belle Isle is a neighborhood in the city of Miami Beach on an island in Biscayne Bay, Florida, United States. It is the easternmost of the Venetian Islands, a chain of artificial islands in Biscayne Bay in the cities of Miami and Miami Beach. It is home to apartment buildings, a portion of the Venetian Causeway, a city of Miami Beach park, and a hotel. It is between Rivo Alto Island and the main barrier island of Miami Beach.
Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter is a typhoon shelter located in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, between the Hong Kong Island entrance of Cross Harbour Tunnel on Kellett Island and Island Eastern Corridor. It was the first typhoon shelter in Hong Kong. At the present location it is about 14 hectares in area, although it is currently largely filled in, as part of road development works.
The Port of Miami Tunnel is a 4,200 feet (1,300 m) bored, undersea tunnel in Miami, Florida. It consists of two parallel tunnels that travel beneath Biscayne Bay, connecting the MacArthur Causeway on Watson Island with PortMiami on Dodge Island. It was built in a public–private partnership between three government entities—the Florida Department of Transportation, Miami-Dade County, and the City of Miami—and the private entity MAT Concessionaire LLC, which was in charge of designing, building, and financing the project and holds a 31-year concession to operate the tunnel.
Dubai Maritime City (DMC) is a multipurpose maritime zone. It is a member of the Dubai World group of companies. Maritime city was expected to be fully operational by 2012.
The Greater Miami area, composed of the three counties of Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach, also known collectively as South Florida, is home to a wide variety of public and private transportation systems. These include heavy rail mass transit (Metrorail), commuter rail (Tri-Rail), automated guideway transit (Metromover), highways, two major airports and seaports, as well as three county-wide bus networks, which cover the entire urbanized area of South Florida. Census and ridership data show that Miami has the highest public transportation usage of any city in Florida, as about 17% of Miamians use public transportation on a regular basis, compared to about 4% of commuters in the South Florida metropolitan area. The majority of public transportation in Miami is operated by Miami-Dade Transit (MDT), which is currently the largest transit system in Florida and was the 14th largest transit system in the United States in 2011.
Grove Isle is a 20-acre island lying off the north-east coast of Miami's Coconut Grove neighborhood. Three waterfront hi-rise residences have been built on the island which were master-planned to include a resort hotel, restaurants, marina, club amenities and services.