water quality blog

Research Evaluating Sources of Nutrients and Bacteria in Biscayne Bay Has Started!

Miami Waterkeeper is honored to share that a new research project has started with grant funding from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)! The EPA awarded this funding to a research team led by Miami Waterkeeper and Florida International University (FIU) to study the levels of fecal indicator bacteria and nutrient pollution in Biscayne Bay. 

Miami Waterkeeper Field Technician, Sierra Jarriel, and Water Quality Intern, Sofia Bond, filtering a water sample at Jose Marti Park in Miami-Dade County (MDC).


As we saw in August of 2020, with the widespread fish kill and algae bloom events, our Bay needs our help. Scientists agree that nutrient pollution is a major threat to Biscayne Bay. This nutrient pollution is believed to be coming from sources like sewage leaks, septic tanks, stormwater runoff, and fertilizer. Click here to read our consensus statement about what lead to last year's fish kill.

The purpose of this collaborative research study is to further understand how canal discharge and land-based sources of pollution are impacting the Bay by sampling at 22 sites throughout central and northern Biscayne Bay for one year. This study is critical as it will give us more in-depth reasoning as to why fish kill and seagrass die-offs occur to plan ahead. 

A closer view of the filtered sample taken at Jose Marti Park in MDC. 


Partners involved in the “Evaluating Sources of Nutrients and Enterococci in Biscayne Bay, Florida” study include Dr. Tiffany Troxler and Dr. Piero Gardinali from FIU, Dr. Peter Swart from the University of Miami (UM), Sean Ahearn from Beta Analytic, and Dr. Maribeth Gidley from UM’s Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies.


To learn more about the parameters and specific questions this study aims to answer, click HERE. 

Click the image below for a downloadable one-pager with all the information on this study!

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