As 2018 winds town, we are feeling thankful for our amazing community who has supported our mission and been partners with us in an incredible year. We launched four new programs, added to our amazing team, and had a year of #waterwins across our outreach, advocacy and research platforms.
Join us in a countdown of our top 10 #waterwins in 2018:
- After four long years of battling the Army Corps of Engineers over the damage the caused our local reefs during the dredging of the Port of Miami, we got a major win for our reefs by securing the restoration of over 10,000 threatened staghorn corals in Miami-Dade over the next 3 years. We’re still fighting for a full restoration of our reef and to stop the same damage at Port Everglades.
- We fought hard to stop a rule that would have allowed increased levels of toxic chemicals – including cancer-causing and hormone disrupting ones – from being allowed in Florida’s surface waters.
- Along with a national coalition of partners, we have now challenged Florida Light and Power's attempt to run Turkey Point Nuclear Plant for an unprecented 80 year timespan, all while at risk from sea level rise and polluting our groundwater
- We have officially launched a water quality monitoring program in Biscayne Bay looking for dangerous bacteria levels. We sample weekly and when we get reports of pollution. We are thrilled to have our water quality lab set up in the Ransom Everglades Upper School!
- We now manage our free Swim Guide app, which tells you the latest water quality information and whether it’s safe to swim! You can sponsor a site in 2019—ask us how.
- We held our first ever #bioblitz event this year, which partnered citizen divers & scientific divers to document reef health before the planned dredging of #PortEverglades. This baseline data collected by scientists and recreational divers will help inform decision-makers to consider the necessary precautions for the reef.
- Through our many beach cleanups, and with the help of hundreds of volunteers throughout Miami-Dade County, we removed over 2,100 pounds of trash from the coastline and reefs of Biscayne Bay.
- We facilitated single-use plastic bans in the Village of Key Biscayne, Surfside, and Pinecrest to reduce waste. In 2019, we’re planning to keep this momentum going and tackling fertilizer and pesticide use.
- We graduated 22 students from our Junior Ambassador environmental leadership program in Spring 2018, and welcomed another 22 students into this program for a graduation date of Spring 2019. We had a record 50 students apply to the program, which we plan to expand next year with more on-the-water programming!
- We kicked off our 1,000 Eyes on the Water campaign, which YOU to be our eyes and ears on the water. Our goal is to have 500 community members learn to observe, document, and report issues on the water. Join us by taking a training scheduled in 2019. You can will help us in our mission to protect the water you love!
Thanks to everyone for this incredible trip around the sun. We are so excited for another year to fight for swimmable, drinkable and fishable water throughout South Florida! Watch this space for more exciting news. We wish you and your families a happy, healthy, and clean water-filled new year!
Start your 2019 off on the right fin.... become a member of Miami Waterkeeper!