The State of Florida has designated Biscayne Bay as “impaired” for nutrient pollution. Municipal fertilizer ordinances that limit the time, extent, and type of fertilizer to be applied can help reduce runoff of nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus into Biscayne Bay and surrounding water bodies. Such nutrient pollution can significantly degrade water quality and lead to algae blooms that harm not only the ecosystem but also the coastal economy. Increased health care costs from hospitals and doctor visits, losses in tourism revenue, and clean-up activities can all be negative economic impacts of algae blooms.
Miami Waterkeeper Junior Ambassador, Jaïm Steele, recently noticed some discord within his community of Coconut Grove homeowners regarding the disposal of pet waste in resident trash bins. In short, some folks were fine with a doggy bag of waste being dumped in their bin, while others were not!
Pet waste, when not properly disposed of, can contribute to nutrient loading in stormwater runoff. Too many nutrients accumulating in our waterways can lead to things like algae blooms and seagrass die-offs in Biscayne Bay. Jaïm, knowing the importance of proper pet waste disposal, launched a new effort called "Yes Poo, No Poo" to help his neighbors (and our waterways) out!
At this year's State of the Water event, Miami Waterkeeper presented the inaugural Porter Prize. This prize will be granted yearly to individuals who demonstrate outstanding commitment and service in protecting South Florida’s watershed. The Porter Prize is named after an individual who has dedicated thousands of hours to Miami Waterkeeper's mission and who is deeply dedicated to protecting the overall health of Biscayne Bay, James M. Porter, Esq.
In 2013, Miami-Dade County Water and Sewer Department entered into a federally-mandated Consent Decree with the U.S. EPA and Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), committing to making $1.5 Billion in improvements to the wastewater collection and treatment system over the next 15 years. Read more HERE.
(Source: Local10 News)
Under this Consent agreement, the County is required to issue periodic status reports providing information on the Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSOs), commonly known as sewage spills. The 12th Status Report, the most recent, includes data from the July 1, 2019, to December 31, 2019 reporting period.
A group of dedicated HSBC employee volunteers helped us out on March 7th to remove an excessive amount of invasive species at Virginia Key Beach Park! HSBC and Miami Waterkeeper have partnered on numerous volunteer outings where HSBC employees give back to the environment. Check out what the group accomplished this time around!
On Wednesday evening, March 11th, 2020, Miami Waterkeeper hosted our second annual State of the Water address. An intimate group of community leaders and members of the public were welcomed by two of our very own Junior Ambassadors at the front doors of the Coral Reef Yacht Club. Attendees enjoyed cocktails and conversation prior to Miami Waterkeeper, Dr. Rachel Silverstein's, State of the Water address.
Miami Waterkeeper's routine water quality monitoring program involves weekly sampling from 8 sites around Biscayne Bay. The samples that are collected are analyzed for fecal indicator bacteria. When concentrated in excess, this bacteria can result in swim advisories. Each week, the Miami Waterkeeper teams posts the water quality sampling results on our 8 sites and an additional 31 sampling sites on our free online app Swim Guide.
Due to safety measures regarding COVID-19, and following the Center of Disease Control’s (CDC) recommendations, Miami Waterkeeper AND Florida Department of Health will be suspending water quality sampling for the time being. Miami Waterkeeper has put a 'Special Status' on all of the Swim Guide beaches for the South-East region we manage.
Currently, Miami-Dade AND Broward Counties have issued mandatory beach closures (read the full announcement HERE for Miami-Dade county and the State Executive Order HERE for Broward and Palm Beach counties). As a safety measure Miami Waterkeeper is classifying all beaches with a 'Special Status' on the Swim Guide app/website. Governor DeSantis has given local authorities the discretion to close beaches and parks and with this comes a suspension to the Florida Healthy Beaches Program until parks and beaches reopen.
Miami Waterkeeper participated in Ocean Conservancy’s annual D.C. fly-in! General Counsel, Kelly Cox, represented Miami Waterkeeper in Washington D.C. as she spoke with members of Congress about the importance of supporting the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) budget. The Trump administration recently proposed cuts to the Agency’s funding by 13%. A diverse range of industries and organizations rely on NOAA’s ocean, coastal, fisheries, and Great Lakes programs. In fact, the United States ocean economy contributes $352 billion annually to the nation’s GDP and supports 3 million jobs, according to the Ocean Conservancy.
Miami Waterkeeper, and our co-plaintiffs -- Center for Biological Diversity, Florida Wildlife Federation Inc., and Diving Equipment and Marketing Association -- have undertaken extensive litigation efforts to ensure that the planned Port Everglades dredging project protects local coral reefs. As a result of our litigation, this project has been delayed for 4 years already, pending new environmental reviews. On March 18th, the Army Corps of Engineers released an updated status report indicating that the project start date will be delayed further -- until the year 2022.
(Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, FL, located just 30 miles north of Port Miami. Source: Cision PR Newswire)
Residential lawn fertilization is estimated to be the second-largest source of household nitrogen in the United States. Nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus from fertilizers can pollute waterways and cause environmental problems such as algae blooms, which kill wildlife, harm humans, and smother seagrass. In fact, Biscayne Bay already suffers from algae blooms and seagrass die-offs. See Miami Dade County's report on seagrass die-offs HERE.