The Real Deal Miami

Neighbors allege Bernardo Fort-Brescia destroyed mangroves at waterfront home

Attorney for the starchitect says Hurricane Irma damaged the trees

Barnardo Fort-Brescia and his house in Coconut Grove (Credit: Google Maps, Oceana Residences)

Miami starchitect Bernardo Fort-Brescia and his wife, Laurinda Spear, are being accused of cutting down healthy mangroves blocking the waterfront view at their Coconut Grove home.

Neighbors say the Arquitectonica power couple used Hurricane Irma as a cover to chop down the protected trees, which help prevent erosion and fight climate change, according to the Miami Herald.

Property owners across Miami-Dade County likely used the hurricane to clear trees that may or may not have been damaged.

After viewing the damage at Fort-Brescia’s home at 3300 South Moorings Avenue in Coconut Grove, county environmental regulators issued a cease and desist order and are investigating the issue. Neighbors took photographs and videos of workers using chains and trucks leaving damage behind after a Bobcat got stuck, the Herald reported.

The couple’s attorney said the Hurricane destroyed the mangrove strand. But biologists say that the trees are typically quick to recover after a storm. [Miami Herald]Katherine Kallergis