Press Release: Section 404(a) of the Clean Water Act - Complaint Filed

Earthjustice sues on behalf of conservation groups to stop EPA rubber-stamping Florida wetlands destruction

EPA’s approval of developer-backed scheme to turn permitting over to state violates U.S. environmental laws


Press Release: Feds Agree to Protect Nassau Grouper Habitat

For Immediate Release, December 23, 2020

 

Feds Agree to Protect Nassau Grouper Habitat

Florida, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands Nearshore Waters Need Safeguards

 

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.— As a result of a lawsuit filed by the Center for Biological Diversity, WildEarth Guardians and Miami Waterkeeper, the National Marine Fisheries Service agreed today to protect critical habitat for the Nassau grouper.

(Source: NOAA.org)

 


Waterkeepers Florida Weighs in on FDEP Stormwater Rules

Waterkeepers Florida, along with a strong coalition of Florida environmental organizations, banded together to provide extensive support for clean water positive stormwater regulations on the FDEP’s 2020 Stormwater Rulemaking after the Department’s request for public input. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) since 2007 has acknowledged the necessity of updating its stormwater regulations to match the state’s rapidly growing population, but the Department’s proposed handbook was never adopted.

 


City of West Miami Unanimously Passes Fertilizer Ordinance

On Wednesday, September 16, 2020, the City of West Miami Commission unanimously passed a fertilizer ordinance on second reading incorporating all proposed amendments from Miami Waterkeeper. The City previously moved to pass a fertilizer ordinance in accordance with FDEP Florida Friendly Fertilizer Ordinance requirements, but Miami Waterkeeper worked with Planning and Zoning Director Juan Pena to review and propose strengthening measures to further curb nutrient pollution in our waterways. Excess nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, can enter our waterways after excessive and inappropriate fertilizer use, which can lead to algae blooms and adverse impacts to marine life and habitat.

Miami Waterkeeper Dr. Rachel Silverstein speaks in favor of amending the City's proposed ordinance.

 

The City of West Miami’s new ordinance incorporates a summer ban on fertilizer application for fertilizers containing nitrogen and phosphorus, a 15-foot fertilizer-free zone setback from storm drains and waterways, a 0% phosphorus provision, and a 50% slow-release nitrogen provision for fertilizers containing nitrogen. Each of these measures is an important and impactful step to ensure a reduced likelihood of nutrient runoff into our waterways.


Port Everglades Dredging Project Still Slowed to August 2022

Miami Waterkeeper and co-plaintiffs (Center for Biological Diversity, Florida Wildlife Federation, Inc., and Diving Equipment and Marketing Association), have undertaken extensive litigation efforts to protect local coral reefs from the Port Everglades dredging project planned by the United States Army Corps of Engineers. Since filing suit against the Corps under the citizen suit provisions of the Endangered Species Act and National Environmental Policy Act in 2016, Miami Waterkeeper and co-plaintiffs have secured numerous delays to the dredging project to allow for more accurate environmental reviews to occur.

(Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, FL, located just 30 miles north of Port Miami. Source: Cision PR Newswire)


Waves of Change: Miami Waterkeeper's 10th Anniversary Docu-Series Event!

Miami Waterkeeper is turning 10! We're excited to announce our virtual 10th Anniversary Event taking place on October 6th-8th, 2020. Celebrate a decade of water wins with us through a 3-part Docu-Series video release! 

 


MWK Continues Water Quality Testing Partnership with The City of Miami

In part of our continued commitment to keep the public safe and informed in and around Miami's waterways, Miami Waterkeeper and the City of Miami pledged a continued partnership for water quality testing! Beginning in 2019, Miami Waterkeeper field scientists have performed water quality testing at six locations around the City of Miami every week, which closed a major gap in site-specific information. 


Consensus Statement on Fish Kill and Algae Bloom in Biscayne Bay

Biscayne Bay is a jewel of our state and the treasured community backyard of Miami. Biscayne Bay generates billions of dollars annually, fueling an active clean water-based economy of real estate, tourism, boating, fishing, sailing, and more. The Bay is a designated Outstanding Florida Water, and hosts the Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserve, the Bill Sadowski Critical Wildlife Area, and Biscayne National Park. It is also home to over a dozen threatened and endangered species.

On August 10th, a widespread and severe fish kill was observed in northern Biscayne Bay. Reports of dead wildlife, with some fish observed struggling to breathe, were recorded from a wide area within and around northern Biscayne Bay over the following five days.  Reports spanned from the Julia Tuttle Causeway to Miami Shores and east to North Bay Village and Pelican Harbor Seabird Station. Dozens of species were impacted, including toadfish, pufferfish, barracuda, rays, snook, eels, and lobsters.  The size and severity of this fish kill appear unparalleled for Biscayne Bay. This is not a “normal” occurrence, but rather a sign that the ecosystem of Biscayne Bay is seriously out of balance.

Available data point to the immediate cause of the fish kill being low dissolved oxygen (DO) events. Low DO conditions often result from too much nutrient pollution, which fuels the growth of algae and bacteria. Algal and bacterial growth are fueled by the buildup of nutrients, especially phosphorous and nitrogen, from pollution inputs such as sewage leaks, septic tank leachate, stormwater runoff, and fertilizer overuse. As a result, both chronic and acute pollution inputs are likely the ultimate driver of the fish kill.


CASE Files Amicus Brief Supporting Turkey Point Appeal

Citizens Allied for Safe Energy (CASE) has filed an amicus curiae brief in support of Miami Waterkeeper's continued legal challenge against the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for its erroneous license renewals for FPL's two nuclear reactors at Turkey Point Power Plant. CASE's filing comes days after Miami Waterkeeper and co-plaintiffs Friends of the Earth and Natural Resources Defense Council filed our initial brief in the United States of America in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. 

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Source: Keys News

In short, CASE's brief argues that the environmental impact caused by hypersaline water from Turkey Point's cooling canals leaking into surrounding groundwater has gone unaddressed by FPL and the FDEP. CASE, in its brief, asks the Court to vacate the plant's license renewals and remand to the NRC.


County & Miami DDA Join Environmental Stakeholders In Addressing Back Bay Study Pitfalls

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.

Miami-Dade County as well as the Miami Downtown Development Authority (Miami DDA) recently submitted formal letters to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) advocating for nature-based features (NNBF) as alternatives to the Corps’ proposed seawalls and flood gates as well as consideration of the detrimental economic impact of such grey infrastructure. Both the County and Miami DDA’s letters echo some of the concerns of community partners, including Miami Waterkeeper. The Miami DDA's letter also includes renderings visualizing the differences among proposed seawalls and nature-based alternatives. 

(Source: Back Bay Proposal Renderings, provided by Miami DDA)


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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.