Flesh-Eating Bacteria: Staying Safe while Swimming

This summer was riddled with concern about emerging threats from flesh-eating bacteria in our coastal waters. Here's what you need to know about the bacteria and how to stay safe while swimming!

 

 


Village of Islamorada Passes a Fertilizer Ordinance!

Congratulations to the Village of Islamorada for passing a fertilizer ordinance aimed at improving water quality in nearshore waters!

Related image

Image Source: www.travel1000places.com

Miami Waterkeeper in D.C. for oral arguments before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Two weeks ago Miami Waterkeeper traveled up to our nation’s capital, Washington D.C., for oral arguments before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The hearing was in regard to FPL’s Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant’s proposed operating license renewal. Why are we concerned with FPL getting approval for this operating license? Well, a nuclear generator acts similarly to a steam engine in that it creates really hot water that needs to be cooled down. Unlike most other nuclear power plants, FPL uses a system of cooling canals like a radiator to achieve this goal. The problem is that these canals are unlined, which means that the really hot, salty, nutrient-rich water is able to leech down into the ground and travel in all directions due to the porous limestone geology beneath the plant. The salty subsurface water, referred to as the hypersaline plume, has been gradually moving toward the groundwater supply, which is our primary source of drinking water here in South Florida. The plume is now migrating at about a foot a day! The plume is also moving east towards Biscayne Bay, an area that offers critical protection to sensitive ecosystems, wildlife, and unique habitats, and supports the local economy through recreation opportunities, tourism, and the provision of ecological goods and services.


Coral Gables' Ban on Styrofoam Overturned in Third District Court of Appeals -- But, the City is Taking the Case to the Supreme Court

On August 14, 2019, the State of Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal held that the City of Coral Gables’ ordinance regulating polystyrene, commonly known as styrofoam, is unenforceable. This news is a blow to the progress made in recent years to address the impacts of marine debris through municipal regulations.

Why is this decision so harmful? Polystyrene is a product that is frequently used in carryout containers. However, because it isn’t biodegradable and persists in the environment, it damages vital marine habitat -- impacting wildlife health,  human health, and the economy.

This decision is also a blow to the home rule authority of municipalities across the State of Florida. Historically, the state legislature has worked to preempt local regulation of products like plastic bags and polystyrene containers. Home rule authority allows municipalities to govern on topics unless the state says they cannot by way of a preemption. These preemptions make it near impossible for municipalities to regulate the use or sale of products like single-use plastics and polystyrene. The Court in this decision affirmed the validity of the state’s preemption on these products. The opinion specifically said that the Florida statutes preempting the regulations on these products superseded Coral Gables’ ordinances.


King Tide season is upon us! Here's what you need to know.

You may have heard the term "King Tide" in the news recently. But, what exactly is this tidal event? King tides are the highest high tides of the year and, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, they occur when the "orbits and alignment of the Earth, moon, and sun combine to produce the greatest tidal effects of the year." These major tidal events occur once or twice a year and can often cause coastal flooding in low-lying areas of South Florida. 


Welcome Collin

Join Miami Waterkeeper in welcoming our new Outreach Coordinator, Collin Schladweiler! Collin joined our team in September 2019, and we’re very excited to be working with him!


New Study Shows Biscayne Bay Could Suffer From "Regime Change"

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently released a study looking at 20 years worth of data on pollution which has found that Biscayne Bay may be facing a "regime change." This means that the bay is changing from a seagrass dominated ecosystem to an algae dominated one.


Doral Glades Park Grand Opening

Picture Courtesy of Doral Family Journal

Miami Waterkeeper staff recently attended the grand opening of the new Doral Glades Park, a beautiful community resource that focuses heavily on nature and conservation. Over the past year, Miami Waterkeeper contribute our time and expertise to the park's Nature Center development so we were thrilled to see it complete and congratulate everyone involved! 


North Bay Village passes a fertilizer ordinance!

Congratulations to North Bay Village for passing a fertilizer ordinance aimed at improving water quality in Biscayne Bay! 

North Bay Village 20100813

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons via Marc Averette

Miami Waterkeeper Intern, Monique Paul, Wins Ocean Stewardship Award

Our policy intern, Monique Paul, was awarded the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science Master of Professional Science Student Award for Excellence in Ocean Stewardship!


Check out the latest from the @MiamiWaterkpr blog:
Blog
Home