MWK Joins Comment on EPA’s Discretionary Approval Under Clean Water Act Section 404

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) has attempted to assume regulatory authority of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): the section which requires permits for any discharge of dredge and fill materials into Waters of the U.S., including rivers, canals, and wetlands. To assume authority of the Section 404 program, a state must provide the EPA with a number of statements, memos, and an approval request before submitting to a review period. During this process, the FDEP requested EPA consultation as to Endangered Species Act (ESA) Section 7, claiming its CWA Section 404 assumption required such a consultation. But the EPA doesn’t think so.

Wetlands in Boynton Beach, FL (Source: The Mitigation Banking Group, Inc.)


Ft. Lauderdale Receives Largest Fine in State History for Sewage Spills

Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSOs), commonly known as ‘sewage leaks,’ have continued to be a problem for South Florida due to our aging sewage infrastructure. Miami-Dade is not the only County in South Florida that’s been plagued with crumbling sewage infrastructure --  Broward County is also victim to a system that is cracked, leaking, and ultimately welcoming raw sewage into local waterways. Combined, Miami-Dade and Broward County have seen tens of millions of gallons of sewage leak into our waterways over the past several years.

Raw sewage infiltrating the streets of Broward County (Source: Sun-Sentinel).


Biscayne Bay is Experiencing Localized Seagrass Die-Offs

Seagrasses are one of Biscayne Bay’s critical habitats. Seagrass beds serve as a food source, a habitat for small marine organisms, and they regulate water quality by stabilizing sediments and cycling nutrients. However, seagrass cover in the Bay has drastically declined over the last decade. Miami-Dade County’s recent report, “Report on the Findings of the County’s Study on the Decline of Seagrass and Hardbottom Habitat in Biscayne Bay,” highlights underlying factors that are causing these die-offs and provides a series of recommendations to help direct the County's approach moving forward. Read the full report and list of recommendations HERE

 

Map illustrating the several basins located throughout Biscayne Bay, and the percentage of seagrass coverage decline over the last 13 years. (Source: Miami Waterkeeper; Miami-Dade County 2019 Seagrass Report).

 


Community Partners Urge Miami Dade County to Take Action on Back Bay Study

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is proposing a $4.6 billion investment to address storm surge risk in our region. This proposal, called the "Back Bay Study," proposes a range of "grey" infrastructure options like seawalls and flood gates, but largely leaves out nature-based solutions like mangrove and restoration and living shorelines. You can read the full proposal HERE.

Community partners recently submitted a letter to the Miami Dade County Board of County Commissioners supporting alternative uses for the federal funds associated with the Back Bay study. 

Map illustrating the structural measures (storm surge barriers, pump stations, and seawalls), focus areas, and risk management areas that the USACE Back Bay Study will be taking into account to mitigate the impacts of sea-level rise, storm surge, and flooding. (Source: USACE; Miami Herald).

 


What's in the Water: A Breakdown of How We Sample

Miami Waterkeeper takes weekly water quality samples from several sites around Miami-Dade County. Read more HERE on why we sample. There are many steps to ensure samples are taken, processed, and reported efficiently. To elaborate on this process further, we have compiled a list of questions and detailed answers.

 


Miami Waterkeeper’s Outreach Coordinator Recognized for Research in Minneapolis Air Pollution Study

Before joining Miami Waterkeeper, Outreach Coordinator Collin Schladweiler was part of an environmental research team evaluating air quality impacts on community emotional well-being. We are excited to announce the research Collin assisted with has recently been published in a peer-reviewed publication! Cities throughout the United States are developing initiatives supporting resilience, health, and sustainability. Scientists from the Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Minnesota, and others, developed a novel approach to determine the correlation among air quality, a person’s emotional well-being (EWB), and a neighborhood’s infrastructure.


Miami Waterkeeper Comments on BBTF Draft Report

The Biscayne Bay Task Force (BBTF) is a nine-member interdisciplinary group tasked with reviewing relevant data, prior studies, and reports related to Biscayne Bay. Their objective is to create a comprehensive report with written recommendations to the Mayor and County Commissioners regarding Biscayne Bay restoration and enhancement projects. The BBTF will be 'sunsetting' in August of 2020 -- ending their assembly and delivering the final recommendation report, "A Unified Approach for a Healthy & Resilient Biscayne Bay," to the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC). 

Biscayne Bay (Source: BBTF Draft Report)


An Extreme Summer! New Heat Records for Miami this Season

Summer has made its mark here in Miami -- temperatures have been very warm, to say the least! According to University of Miami Researcher, Brian McNoldy, we have been experiencing some unprecedented weather conditions in our area.


DeSantis Signs SB 712 "Clean Waterways Act" into Law - Waterkeepers FL Op-Ed

SB 712: A Watered-Down Bill that Will Not Fix our Water Quality Issues

Governor DeSantis just signed into law SB 712 - the self-proclaimed “Clean Waterways Act” - an ambitious misnomer for a bill that claims to be the solution to our mounting water quality issues, but falls far short of that mark.


What's in the Water: A Breakdown of Why We Sample

While the water may look beautifully clear and blue, it may also contain microscopic chemicals or pathogens that can be harmful to humans. At Miami Waterkeeper, we routinely check the water for fecal indicator bacteria levels at key recreation areas and publish our results on our free Swim Guide app, on social media, and on our website to keep you informed -- ensuring your safety for swimming in your local waterways. 

Darwin Beach at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, one of the sites Miami Waterkeeper takes water samples from.

 


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HomeMiami Waterkeeper is a South Florida Environmental Group that advocates for Swimmable, Drinkable, Fishable water for all. Working on sea rise, water pollution, coral reef protection, and water issue education.