A Manatee, a Plan, a Canal . . .

Six years in the works and still controversial: Dade environmental officials submit their manatee-protection proposal

David Ray, a recreational-boating businessman who was on the citizens' committee, doesn't find the future so rosy. "We're all right now, but there will be a bind in the very near future," declares Ray, a board member of the Marine Industries Association of Greater Miami. "If you're a millionaire, you'll have a place to put your boat in. But the average boater is not going to be able to afford [marina dockage]."

Still, Ray is resigned to the necessity for mutual concessions regarding the plan, which DERM will forward to the Metro Commission for approval and then to the state for final implementation. "I hate it. The manatee people probably hate it," Ray grumbles. "But if there's ever a good compromise, it's when both sides hate it. There has been no plan in the state of Florida that has been so restrictive. But it could've been worse.

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