Our Story

Miami Waterkeeper’s mission is to ensure swimmable, drinkable, fishable water for all. 

Since 2010, Miami Waterkeeper has defended the human right to use and enjoy clean water. Our scope of work is diverse, focusing on pressing water issues including clean water for all, ecosystem protection, and sea level rise readiness in South Florida.

Florida's 8,000 miles of coastline and over 800 miles of beaches aren’t just for relaxing. They’re doing heavy lifting for our economy, while providing essential services like climate regulation, provision of food, and protection from natural hazards. Visiting a beach or waterway is the number one activity of Florida's tourists—undeniably the biggest draw for our $112 billion in annual tourism revenue. Almost half a million people are directly employed in our ocean economy. And all of this—Florida's tourism industry, job market, recreation, environment, and even Florida's culture—depends on having clean water. 

But Florida’s waterways are also particularly vulnerable to pollution because of our low elevation, porous limestone geology, and the threat of sea level rise. Miami Waterkeeper’s jurisdiction spans a watershed that serves more than 4.5 million people across Miami-Dade and Broward counties and encompasses the mid-section of the Florida reef tract. Miami has the most to lose from sea level rise—worldwide.

This is why Miami Waterkeeper pushed to become a leading advocate for our environment and a powerful voice for clean water. Our work is effective because we employ a multi-dimensional approach that includes community outreach, scientific research, and advocacy. Since our inception, we've achieved massive water wins including the rescue of hundreds of threatened corals from a dangerous dredging project, avoiding the discharge of millions of gallons of toxic chemicals into waterways, and working with hundreds of volunteers to pick up thousands of pounds of trash and restore acres of habitat.

Through our efforts, we support a vibrant and resilient South Florida coastal community and environment for future generations.

What is a Waterkeeper?

The term “waterkeeper” indicates that an organization is a member of a network of clean water advocates within the Waterkeeper Alliance and protects a particular waterway. The Waterkeeper Alliance has roots in 1960’s activism on the Hudson River, where commercial and recreational fishermen came together to protect their water. Their outspoken, citizen-led advocacy ensured that laws were enforced and that their river, livelihood, and health of their families were protected. Today, Waterkeeper organizations can be found on hundreds of waterways across the globe. (There are “coastkeepers,” “baykeepers,” and “riverkeepers,” too!)

A Waterkeeper is also a job title at each waterkeeper organization. Your full-time Miami Waterkeeper, Rachel Silverstein, is part investigator, scientist, educator, and legal advocate, functioning as a public spokesperson and protecting your right to clean water.



Our People

Miami Waterkeeper relies on the strength of our team and our community

What's the meaning behind the Miami Waterkeeper logo?

The circle in our logo is the outline of the Miami Circle – a Tequesta archaeological site situated at the mouth of the Miami River and Biscayne Bay. The site is a perfect circle measuring 38-feet across with 24 holes or basins cut into limestone, and containing shell tools, dolphin skulls, turtle shells, and shark teeth. The site was discovered in 1998, and is thought to be between 1700-2000 years old, indicating that the Circle represents one of the first-known interactions of humans and the water in the Miami area. The Miami Circle holds profound meaning for Miami Waterkeeper, as we focus on protecting and respecting wildlife, water, and all human inhabitants of South Florida. The animals found inside our logo are native to Biscayne Bay and the surrounding waters, including some listed in the Endangered Species Act. It is also a reminder that our jurisdiction covers the ancestral and traditional lands of the Seminole, Miccosukee, and Tequesta people. 

Corporate Partners

Miami Waterkeeper's partners are critical to our ability to achieve our mission. Join today to show your company's commitment to our water.

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