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.

 


Port Everglades Dredging Project Construction Still Delayed Until 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.

Entrance of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, FL, in Broward County -- the Army Corps has submitted a proposal for the deepening and widening of the seaport. (Source: Business Facilities).

 


Comment on the $4.6 billion storm surge plan for Miami - Action Alert!

Want a 35 ft high wall along the Brickell waterfront? Neither do we. Comment now!

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.  It also  You can read the full proposal HERE

Check out our talking points about this plan and our ideas for proposing a better solution for our community.  You have until July 20, 2020, to submit your comments! 

 


What’s in a Watershed? A Look Into the Waterways We Protect

Miami Waterkeeper operates in the two most populous counties in the State of Florida, Miami Dade and Broward Counties. These counties have more than 4.5 million residents combined. Our region has over 470 miles of waterways, including South Florida’s coastline, canals, rivers, streams, and other bodies of water. Where we work is important to our local culture, economy, and history, and we wanted to show you just what our watershed looks like and how it came to be.


Miami Waterkeeper's Latest Merchandise - Bandana Sale!

Miami Waterkeeper is excited to share our most recent addition to our merchandise list - our Coolmax Bandana!


Foreseeing a “Polluted Paradise:” 1949 Article Forecasts Florida’s Faulty Septic Systems

Septic system vulnerability has become pressing news in South Florida, in light of climate change and sea level rise. Rising sea levels are elevating the water table, limiting the amount of dry space for the effluent to percolate down through the soil -- where it is naturally filtered, sanitized, and harmful contaminants from raw sewage are removed. When not properly cared for, septic tanks can become a land-based source of pollution for our waterways because raw sewage can leak into canals and watershed. This pollution can seep further into our underground drinking water supply in our aquifer. 

Miami Waterkeeper works towards educating the public on the importance of proper septic maintenance and consideration of conversion to municipal sewage lines. While researching the history behind the 1971 Miami-Dade County (MDC) ordinance, requiring all properties on septic tanks to connect to the sewer system where available (Chapter 32, Sections 32-76 to 32-82), we came across a 1949 article in Look magazine titled, “Florida Polluted Paradise,” by Philip Wylie, author of Generation of Vipers and Florida conservation leader. 

 


USACE Replies to Miami Waterkeeper and Partners' Comments on Back Bay Study

For an update on this issue, check out or July 2020 Action Alert here.

Properties throughout South Florida are continuing to face the reality of rising sea levels and storm surge. Increased flood frequency levels and inundation are becoming the norm -- threatening neighborhoods to the east and west of Biscayne Bay. Local municipalities and governmental agencies are beginning to strategize and plan for a “sea-level rise ready” community. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is currently making headway on the planning stages of the Miami-Dade Back Bay Coastal Storm Risk Management Study. The Corps is examining projects through two studies: one looking at the eastern or ocean side of the Bay, and one to the western coast, including a highly urbanized part of Miami. This study aims to consider flood-prone areas in the county such as Little River, Miami River, Cutler Bay, Arch Creek, and Aventura. Projects range from installation of seawalls, artificial breakwaters, and often concrete structures to absorb wave action, commonly referred to as “grey infrastructure." 

 

Heavy flooding in downtown Miami (Source: Carl Juste/Miami Herald)

 

After in-depth review and research, Miami Waterkeeper commented in January 2019 that this $3 million study seems to prioritize economic interest over community or environmental benefit. In addition, Miami Waterkeeper, Catalyst Miami, and the Miami Foundation submitted further comments to the Corps in October of 2019 regarding additional inequitably elements of proposed projects. And in May of this year, the Corps replied to our areas of concern. 

 


Miami Waterkeeper's Statement of Equity

Our nation is engaged in a painful – and desperately overdue – conversation and reckoning about racism. We are deeply saddened by the tragic murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and too many others. Through this pain, it is our hope that lasting change, equity, and justice can emerge. Our organization commits to being part of the solution – to not remain silent and to not hide behind our ignorance or discomfort.


Waterkeeper Alliance to Appear in The Visionaries Series on PBS - Press Release

Waterkeeper Alliance to Appear in The Visionaries Series on PBS

Episode features the work of Waterkeeper Warriors in Miami and Peru.


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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.