Clean water is what makes Miami, Miami. And Biscayne Bay in particular is the ecological and aesthetic jewel that our city is built around. But our water issues are incredibly complex and threaten the continued health of our watershed. Our waterways contribute billions of dollars to our economy each year -- they support our tourism, fishing, and real estate industries, and are home to over a dozen threatened and endangered species. Additionally, our region has the most resources at risk from sea-level rise worldwide. With all these factors in mind, it is critical that local municipalities understand the state of our waters in order to move forward with the best plan to preserve our waterways.
(Source: Biscayne Bay Foundation)
Last month, Miami Waterkeeper hosted two virtual briefings educating Miami-Dade and Broward County candidates for office on various topics and how they can make an impact as public servants. As a candidate for public office, understanding threats to our watershed is critical to leadership for its continued health and existence.
Miami Waterkeeper has been working with the Miami Foundation on a series of candidate forums throughout the last several months. And in collaboration with those efforts, we offered virtual candidate briefings on Friday, July 17th and Monday, July 27th on clean water issues affecting South Florida. These briefings were hosted by our very own Miami Waterkeeper and executive director Rachel Silverstein, Ph.D. Topics covered included wastewater, power, sea level rise, beaches, FPL Turkey Point, Biscayne Bay, and more.
The presentation ran through these topics in-depth, offered opportunities for Q & A, and took it a step further providing a series of policy action items to be considered. For example, on the topic of stormwater and sewage, Miami Waterkeeper encourages policymakers to consider the following:
- Strict enforcement of current stormwater regulations and retention requirements
- Address the use of stormwater pumps
- Require mandatory grates and outfall filtration
- Increase Miami-Dade County’s sewer budget to maintain our aging infrastructure – currently vulnerable to sewage leaks.
Click HERE to download the complete list of these items in our ‘Action-Item One-Pager.’
Running for office in Miami-Dade or Broward County and interested in participating in a briefing? Please contact [email protected] for more information.
Missed the virtual briefing but would like to view a recording of the presentation? Click HERE.
These briefings were made possible by a grant from The Miami Foundation, and thank you to Waterkeeper Alliance for the coordination of the webinar logistics.