Please join us in congratulating Miami Waterkeeper's Community Engagement Coordinator, Casey Dresbach, on the recent completion of her Master's degree in Marine Conservation at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science! As the Outreach Intern for Florida Inland Navigation District (F.I.N.D.)’s Biscayne Bay Restoration Partnership (BBRP), Casey created an outreach strategy to support the restoration of Biscayne Bay through the establishment of interagency partnerships; both non-governmental and governmental.
Screenshot of the BBRP website with the logo embedded on the home page. *The website is in draft form, if BBRP believes it is a necessary budget item, it will be published and made accessible to the public.
In response to the declining health of Biscayne Bay, several federal, state, and local agencies are working on behalf of protecting and conserving natural resources and habitat, which provide a series of economic benefits to the entire State of Florida. F.I.N.D is one of these agencies and supports this effort through funding a set of navigation projects to create waterway access and improvement projects. The BBRP is a proposed framework under F.I.N.D., created to promote environmental restoration and enhancement of the watershed. As part of her internship responsibilities, Casey worked with F.I.N.D’s Miami-Dade Commissioner, Spencer Crowley, advocating for BBRP as a potential restoration framework for Biscayne Bay. She created a logo and informational website for the Partnership, as well as a presentation on BBRP for Miami Dade County's Biscayne Bay Task Force (BBTF). Learn more about the BBTF HERE and view the full BBRP presentation HERE.
Presentation slide from BBRP Governance presentation given to the BBTF on February 10, 2020. This slide provides a visual road map, detailing the pipeline of a potential restoration project.
Casey created an outreach strategy by developing recommendations based on her internship involvement and literature review of successful outreach programs outside of Miami-Dade and Broward counties. She then compiled a list of NGOs within those counties, which are spearheading outreach and education efforts that educate the public on the history, nature, and challenges facing Biscayne Bay. Through her recommendations, she focused on Miami Waterkeeper and Debris Free Oceans, providing detailed examples as to how an interagency collaboration between F.I.N.D. and these NGOs could work together to enhance the achievements of both parties. Read Casey’s full MPS internship report HERE.
The key takeaways of Casey’s final project are:
- There is no need to reinvent the wheel -- there are several studies and reports that show Biscayne Bay’s health is currently at its tipping point. We should invest more of our time in working towards active restoration and less in passive strategies.
- Several studies demonstrated that introducing stewardship at a young age helps create responsibility and accountability as individuals mature into adulthood, representing a causal link between environmental education and the development of environmental stewardship in children. (Damerell et al., 2013; Miller et al., 2015).
- As we move forward with conservation measures for Biscayne Bay, it is critical that partnerships are created to enhance ongoing programs and initiatives that are already proven successful in their reach and accomplishments, which may require supplemental components.
Casey is currently carrying on her efforts of strategizing for increased public awareness of Biscayne Bay and South Florida’s watershed in her role as Community Engagement Coordinator with Miami Waterkeeper! She looks forward to furthering her passion for environmental work in South Florida, specifically on community engagement programming and outreach for Biscayne Bay restoration.
Please join us in congratulating Casey and welcoming her to the Miami Waterkeeper family!