As sea levels rise, high-tide flooding has worsened in many coastal cities on the east coast like Miami. As these flood waters recede, they carry excess toxic pollutants and nutrients into rivers, bays, lakes, and coastal waters.
This past summer, South Florida experienced some of the worst algal blooms ever recorded in history. This issue has been recurring with increasing severity over the years, affecting our water quality, public health, and economy. Scientists blame diverted waterways that prevent natural water flow and nutrient filtration, in addition to industrial and agricultural pollution. Moreover, warming oceans are exacerbating the issue.
The Army Corps of Engineers recently released a status report on their upcoming dredging project at Port Everglades. The report announced that the project has now been delayed to 2021.
Last week, our Executive Director & Waterkeeper, spoke to OneMBA participants at the University of Miami. The OneMBA is a global executive MBA program that builds real-world business knowledge and cultivates real-life relationships. Through immersive in-country residencies, global teamwork, project collaborations, and a challenging multicultural curriculum, this program is offered in partnership the University of Miami Business School as its new American partner.
On April 2, 2019, Agriculture Commissioner Nicole "Nikki" Fried highlighted key issues facing Florida's natural lands and waterways. She sponsored a resolution, signed by Governor DeSantis and the entire cabinet, recognizing the month of April as Water Conservation Month in the state of Florida.
The Florida Department of health monitors beaches throughout the state as part of the Florida Healthy Beaches Program for enterococci bacteria and then determines whether those beaches are safe for swimming or not.
Enterococci are bacteria that normally inhabit the intestinal track of humans and animals. The presence of this bacteria can be an indication of fecal pollution, which may come from stormwater runoff, pets and wildlife, and human sewage. Exposure to these bacteria while swimming or recreating on the water may cause disease, infections, or rashes.
If an enterococci result exceeds 70 colony forming units per 100 mL of beach water sampled, and a resampling also exceeds this value, then an "advisory" would be issued for the sampling site. This advisory is a warning to those who want to swim or recreate that the area is not safe to do so.
Miami Waterkeeper one of Hydro Flask's Grant Recipients of the 2018 Parks for All Charitable Giving Program!
In November 2018, Hydro Flask, the award-winning leader in high performance, insulated stainless steel flasks, announced the recipients of it 2018 Parks for All Charitable Giving Program. We are excited to say that Miami Waterkeeper is one of those grantees!
This week, Miami Waterkeeper participated in a mobile workshop for The Funders' Network Annual Conference. This year's conference focused on how Miami is grappling with the stark realities of climate change and other environmental threats. The conference theme, Power Forward, included a call to action "for philanthropy to leverage the sector's collective power to create communities and regions that are truly sustainable and just." Tour leaders spoke on these themes during a mobile workshop boat cruise around Biscayne Bay and the Miami River.
Urban Nature, a digital series on WTTW, the PBS member station in Chicago, recently did a segment on sea level rise in Miami. Our Executive Director, Rachel Silverstein, was featured in this segment discussing sea level rise and the additional problems Miami might face in the near future due to flooding.
Ultra is an annual electronic music festival that was founded in 1999 in Miami. This annual event has brought hundreds of thousands of people to Downtown Miami over the past several years, but residents complained about the noise and crowds. At the end of last year, the City of Miami City Commission voted against a contract that would keep it at its downtown home, Bayfront Park, for the next 5 years. Instead, the music festival will be held on Virginia Key at the Miami Marine Stadium and Virginia Key Beach Park. Many from the Village of Key Biscayne, community leaders and advocacy groups, have pushed back against this decision due to traffic, noise, and environmental concerns.