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Marathon Issues Notice of Infringement to Private Island Owners for Ravaging Nature

MARATHON, Fla. – Authorities in the Florida Keys are taking action after they razed a private island that was home to birds and other wildlife.

Residents in the area reported heavy machinery on West Fanny Key, which is in the far west portion of the bay of Marathon.

“We issued a summons and a notice to appear,” said Marathon City Manager George Garrett.

The subpoena sent to the owners said that an investigation “revealed that most of the native trees and vegetation had been cleared and removed from the island without permission.”

Homeowners cannot just pay a fine.

They must “apply for and obtain a permit to replenish all native trees and vegetation,” according to the subpoena.

A hearing with a special magistrate has been set for October 21, and failure to comply could result in heavy fines.

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“If you handle the soil, you’re doing a development, and that requires a permit,” Garrett said. “What the keys represent is really an ecology that no longer exists in South Florida.”

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are also investigating.

Local 10 has contacted the owners several times, a couple from California.

Read the city’s violation notice

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