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Help Invade Fisher Island Beach

November 10, 2007 By Gus in Miami: Local News  | 2 Comments

ABOVE: A view looking across Government Cut at Fisher Island public beach. Photo by Bryan Sereny

When most people think of storming a beach, the Invasion of Normandy comes to mind—the monumental event when 156,000 allied soldiers crossed the English Chanel to retake occupied France. It was a heroic day when lives were lost, legends were made, and boys became men.

The time has come to take a stand and storm the beach once again. But thankfully, we don’t need to go all the way to France to get our feet wet.

Fisher Island: The Challenge

On November 17th, workers, religious leaders, community activists, and the general public are invited to take part in a history-making landing on the shores of Fisher Island beach. The purpose is to expose the unfair treatment directed at the workers who maintain Fisher Island.

What! Fisher Island, you say. “I thought that place was super private. Don’t you need to be some kind of billionaire to go there?”

Well, yes, that is true. Fisher Island is very exclusive. In fact, they’ve done their best to wall themselves off from the rest of the world. The only way to get to the island is by invite-only ferry, boat, or helicopter. The island promotes its exclusive reputation by refusing to allow the general public to ride the ferry unless they have been personally invited. However, a stretch of the beach on Fisher Island is public—and that is the beach we’re going to invade—but we need your help to figure out the best way to safely and lawfully make the landing.

The Fisher Island workers union has launched a national contest— “Fisher Island: The Challenge.”  People are urged to submit their best ideas for the campaign to the One Miami Now website. Entrants will receive a free “Fisher Island: The Challenge” T-shirt and a reserved space to participate in the landing.

Here’s my suggestion on how to invade Fisher Island…

Enlist the Duck Tour Land & Sea Vehicle


If you’ve spent any time in South Beach, no doubt you’ve seen Miami’s famous Duck Tour roll by. Perhaps you’ve even heard them shout their signature “Quack, Quack” at you.

Duck Tours uses a custom made amphibious vehicle called a “Hydra Terra.” Each vehicle is a Coast Guard approved vessel as well as a certified passenger vehicle for use on the roadways. On land, they can travel up to 65 miles per hour.  By sea, the vehicles travels at 6 knots and must be operated by a U.S. Coast Guard Licensed Master Captain.

The Hydra Terra has a seating capacity of 49 passengers, and are equipped with life preservers for everyone aboard.

If you ask me, comendering a Duck Tours craft sounds like the most lawful, safe, and fun way to invade Fisher Island beach.

The gentleman in charge of operations at Duck tours is named Justin. I suggest OneMiamiNow contact him and mention it’s for a noble cause.

Related Categories: Miami: Local News,

Gus Moore heads up Miami Beach 411 as site administrator. You can reach him at 1-305-754-2206.

See more articles by Gus.

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2 Comments on

"Help Invade Fisher Island Beach"

Maria de los Angeles says:

I didn’t realize this was going on.  I used to teach yoga at Fisher Island about 2-3 years ago.  When you drive off the ferry, they will often “rinse” your car.  There is a very strict protocol on your first couple of visit to the island, ie, I had to be escorted by a guard to the gym.  The first time I understand ... almost a courtesy.  But the rest of the time?  Good grief!  It’s not like I’m a member of Al Q and they’re Homeland Security.  The island always reminded me of a Miami version of Stepford meets Disney meets Paris Hilton.  Everything is indeed impeccable and manicured—on the surface.  I often joked to myself, they probably pay the flamingoes in the pond to hang out and sit pretty.

I was never treated poorly, but I was just a short-term independent contractor.

Fisher Island is just one huge exclusive gated community that happens to be surrounded by water.  I suppose they have a right to their exclusivity, after all, the residents are paying bazillions of dollars to live as if in a 5 star resort.  But there’s no excuse for treating employees like slaves.  Still, I’m not surprised they’d segregate employees (just like a cruise ship, right?) ... The residents need to get over themselves and realize there’s just one way to get on and off that island and be grateful there are hard working people who make the fantasy billionare residential theme park happen.  At the very least, they could make the ferry ride comfortable for the blue-collar employees.  (The managers, etc; obviously drive their cars.)

Posted on 11/16/2007 at 10:34 AM

Gus says:

Thanks for all the great info, Maria. It’s interesting to hear firsthand what it’s like to visit the Island.

Alas, the only invitation I’ll probably ever receive is to swim to the private beach, which sounded like fun until the weather got cold.

Posted on 11/16/2007 at 12:40 PM

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