Kristen Ranges, a current J.D./Ph.D. student at the University of Miami, started her higher education at the University of Delaware, College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment where she majored in marine sciences with a concentration in biology and minor in public policy. After research-based experiences in marine biology, Kristen decided to focus her studies on the conservation of the marine environment through policy and law. Kristen began her legal studies at the University of Miami in 2017 where her curriculum has focused on environmental, coastal, and maritime law. Wanting to further her interdisciplinary education, Kristen recently matriculated into the Ph.D. program at the University of Miami’s Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy.
Before their graduation, our Junior Ambassadors' final task was to deliver a public presentation about an environmental topic of their choice. Some of our Ambassadors decided to complete this program requirement by participating in a panel discussion of threats to South Florida's waterways.
The theme of the panel was threats to South Florida's waterways. The Junior Ambassadors shed light on the issues, while also providing attainable solutions that they have learned about throughout the year long program.
We have some exciting news! Miami Waterkeeper has been selected to receive a Community Grant from the Miami Foundation in the Resiliency category! The Miami Foundation's community grants invest more than $1.3 million in Miami-Dade non-profits. This year, 71 non-profits are sharing the $1.3 million. Community grants provide support to Greater Miami organizations whose initiatives improve local quality of life in three areas: Opportunity, Creativity, and Resiliency.
Our Executive Director, Rachel Silverstein was interviewed by CNN about sea level rise and pollution threats. Sea-level rise is already impacting Miami by way of flooding, ecosystem and habitat loss, and saltwater intrusion. Sea-level rise is also impacting our wastewater infrastructure -- including our sewage system and many backyard septic tanks.
Executive Director and Waterkeeper, Rachel Silverstein, provided a keynote address for Sierra Club Miami at their "Saving Seagrass" event at the Sacred Space Miami. Rachel discussed the state of seagrass in Miami as well as the Miami-Dade County Report on the ongoing seagrass die-off in Biscayne Bay.
Biscayne Bay is home to many ecologically important habitats, including seagrass. Seagrasses provide a host of benefits to the ecosystem, both directly and indirectly benefitting humans. They provide habitat and shelter for juvenile species of recreationally and commercially important fish. Both recreational and commercial fishers make their living on Biscayne Bay collecting species such as baitfish, stone crab, blue crab, shrimp, and lobster. Seagrasses support the diving industry in South Florida by providing habitat to juvenile fish that colonize reefs later in their development. Seagrasses enhance shoreline protection and prevent erosion by stabilizing sediments with their roots. In addition to this, they absorb nutrients. They attenuate wave energy from storms as well. Seagrasses help maintain water quality and clarity and are also a food source to several different species.
Join Miami Waterkeeper in welcoming our new Digital Marketing Specialist, Kayla Hauge! Kayla joined our team in April 2019, and we’re very excited to be working with her!
Join Miami Waterkeeper in welcoming our new Water Quality Monitoring Intern, Gabe Thompson! Gabe joined our team in May 2019, and we’re very excited to be working with him!
Rehydrated coastal wetlands in Biscayne Bay provide important ecosystem services and could be key in local climate change resiliency measures. To explore this subject farther, Miami Waterkeeper recently hosted a program at Deering Estate on the economic valuation of ecosystem restoration in order to discuss the benefits to restoring wetlands and options for wastewater reuse. The day began with a tour of a pilot wetlands restoration site lead by Dallas Hazelton (Natural Areas Management, Miami-Dade County). Then during a panel discussion, scientists and resource managers explained the importance of quantifying ecosystem benefits as a resiliency measure for Miami-Dade County.
Miami Waterkeeper Junior Ambassadors graduate from the 2018-2019 program!