Muck Around

Don’t be fooled by the upscale seafood eateries and posh condos that now line the Miami River. There is still plenty of hazmat lurking beneath the blue-green waves. On the very bottom, layers of gunk incubate a dormant army of succubi, fed on foul human sewage and zinc-, mercury-, and lead-laden sludge. It’s been almost 100 years since the waterway was dredged to make room for barges that carry billions of dollars’ worth of cargo from the airport to the port. Mix their industrial runoff with decomposing bodies, human waste, and a few dashes of cocaine, and you have a particularly nasty brew. But it wasn’t always this way. At this Saturday’s Miami River Boat Tour, hear acclaimed historian Paul George explain how the Tequesta Indians’ fertile crescent became an industrial wasteland. Meet at Bayside Marketplace at 10 a.m., and tour Miami’s clogged artery until 1 p.m. Be sure to salute the manatees — they’re our first guard against any hatching muck monsters. Tickets cost $25 for kids, $44 for members, and $49 for nonmembers. Advance reservations are required. Call 305-375-1621 or visit
Sat., Oct. 23, 10 a.m., 2010
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Amanda McCorquodale