A study conducted at the University Of Miami purports to show the festival's negative environmental impact.
The board reached the decision after a series of presentations on Tuesday about the festival's environmental impact on the area, in addition to concerns like traffic and noise. One presentation by University Of Miami researchers showed that the amplified music caused significant stress to toadfish specimens that the university maintains in underwater tanks nearby.
"For wild animals in particular, [stress] can cause long‐term decreases in reproduction that can lead to decreases in population," the study says. However, they admit that the stress was a short-term, acute response, and therefore "cannot conclude if this would translate to... long‐term effects." The anti-Ultra contingent hopes to use it as their "canary in a coal mine," said University Of Miami researcher Danielle McDonald.
The advisory board then voted to oust Ultra from Virginia Key despite city administrators and residents speaking up in defense of the festival at Tuesday's meeting. (Ultra took place at Virginia Key for the first time this year, after the city refused to renew the contract for its original Downtown location.)
The board's recommendation will be passed along to the Miami City Commission, who will meet on May 9th to reach a definitive decision about Ultra's future on Virginia Key. Next year would be the festival's 22nd year in Miami.