On September 1 and 2, Miami Waterkeeper received reports of expanding sediment plumes near the SW 1st St Bridge and the I-395 project; the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) contracts both of these construction sites. The combination of heavy rainfall and lack of barriers contributed to the release of sediments in these massive quantities. Sediment runoff can reduce the clarity of the water and bury ecosystems such as seagrasses and corals. Although this incident can seem temporary, the frequency of these occurrences impacts the Bay's ability to sustain life.
Sediment plume expanding from the I-395 project into Biscayne Bay on September 2. Photo Credit: Cleanthisbeachup
As a result of these incidents, the City of Miami issued notices of violations to the FDOT. In response, the agency developed a corrective action plan to prevent the recurrence of these issues.
How can you help curb illicit pollution?
Join our volunteer-based, community-led water patrol team to expand our ability to monitor Biscayne Bay by taking our 1,000 Eyes on the Water program, which is available in English and Spanish. Community members can learn how to properly report sedimentation, algal blooms, oil slicks, and fish kills and aid in protecting Biscayne Bay's water quality.
What happens when you report pollution to MWK?
When our pollution response team receives a report from a community member, they are most concerned with the kind of pollution and its location. The team communicates the information with the appropriate agencies, like the City, County, or the State, and other parties that can address the incident like the U.S. Coast Guard or the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation.
Details and timeliness are of the utmost importance to pollution reports. The more closely the pollution report is made to its initial observation, the more rapidly it can be responded to and resolved. The information that is necessary for a successful response is below.
- Date of Incident
- Time of Incident
- Type of Incident (Oil spill, sedimentation plume, fish kill, algae bloom, discharge of a substance, etc.)
- Location/Waterbody (The nearest address or latitude and longitude)
- Landmarks (The closest landmarks to the incident make it easier for responders to find the pollution)
- Vessel type (In the case that a vessel is causing pollution)
- Description of the incident
- Photos/videos of the incident
Your information is entirely anonymous unless you permit us to provide your information to the agencies that we communicate with.
Once this information is sent to agencies that can address the incident, we follow up to determine if action was taken and if violations were given. Pollution reports must be made as close to the observation time to ensure that the pollution is still present when it is responded to for further investigation.
Click HERE to take the 1,000 Eyes on the Water program.
Click HERE to report pollution.