Tourists Caught on Camera Trashing Florida’s Biscayne National Park

by Craig Garrett
Biscayne National Park - stock photo

A viral video shows a group of people trashing an island in Biscayne National Park after a day of partying on their boats and jet skis. The authorities are now conducting an investigation. Nicholas Rey was on vacation with family and friends when he caught the careless littering on video. “They did not care,” Rey told Local 10 News. “They started tossing all these bags right in the middle of the island, just tossing bag after bag.”

It all began on a small, unpopulated islet between Soldier Key and Boca Chita Key—two of the most beautiful islands in southern Biscayne Bay. “They even went to their boat, grabbed more trash from their boat, took it, and dumped it in,” Rey recalled.

Every weekend, Rey and his family visit the island, only to find that the trash has piled up even more since their last visit. “There was already trash there, so I was already angry, seeing the trash that was already on this island, so when I saw them do it, I was like ‘Wow, these must be the people that destroyed this beautiful oasis in the middle of the ocean,’” Rey explained. Though Rey didn’t directly confront the unruly group, he did share the footage on Instagram.

Rey said that he didn’t want to get his family put in danger by confronting the litterers. However, they got a lot of videos that they shared with law enforcement. Rey continued by saying that some clips even managed to capture vessel IDs. This will make it easier for police to identify the suspects.

Littering in Biscayne National Park could lead to some serious charges

MDPD Director Alfredo “Freddy” Ramirez released a statement to Local 10 News. “We are currently working with our state and federal partners to levy the most significant penalties against the offenders,” Ramirez said. “Through preliminary investigations, the IDU believes some of the perpetrators to be repeat offenders. The Miami-Dade Police Department will have zero tolerance towards environmental crimes.”

Rey wishes that everyone involved is brought to justice. “They should have to pick up not only their trash but some of the other trash that’s sitting there and guess what? I’ll help them. I’ll help them pick it up,” Rey said. “If the island gets cleaned up, this is all worth it.” Because the crime happened in a national park, federal authorities are now involved. The suspects could potentially face severe charges and steep fines as a result.

Biscayne National Park is located in Miami-Dade County, south of Miami, Florida. The park covers Biscayne Bay and its offshore barrier reefs. 95% of the park is water, with a mangrove forest along the shoreline. The park is a sprawling 172,971 acres. It includes Elliott Key- the park’s largest island and northernmost of the true Florida Keys. The islands farther north are transitional made from fossilized coral reefs. The offshore section of the park contains the northernmost region of the Florida Reef- one of the world’s largest coral reefs.