Miami Waterkeeper is excited to announce generous support from The Jorge M. Perez Family Foundation at the Miami Foundation with a new two-year grant award to support our clean water programs.
In their philanthropy and community action, the Jorge M. Perez Family Foundation has demonstrated a lasting commitment to South Florida’s water. The Perez Family Foundation first supported Miami Waterkeeper in 2018, when they awarded us a grant to launch our 1,000 Eyes on the Water training program. This program provides training for members of the community to observe, document, and report pollution they might see going about their daily lives. 1000 Eyes on the Water engages and educates our community while keeping our water clean, allowing us to respond quickly to pollution events such as oil spills, turbidity plumes, sewage leaks, and fish kills.
We initially aimed to train 500 people to report pollution harming our waterways. Just three years later, that goal has been surpassed – almost 1000 people have been trained! 1,000 Eyes on the Water trainings have reached schools, businesses, community groups, fisherfolk, universities, police departments, City and County staff, and many more. Communities as far south as Homestead and as far north as Boca Raton have participated in this program.
All of this progress would not have been possible without the support from the Perez Family Foundation. Over the last year, the Perez Family Foundation provided critical support in launching this program in a virtual format. It is now available free and online in a 1-hour, on-demand training. These digital materials have become indispensable during the COVID-19 pandemic, and our reach has even expanded with this new platform. In the last year, our public pollution reports have increased by over 600%. Every report is one step closer to clean water!
With this latest support from the Perez Family Foundation, we will continue to build on our 1,000 Eyes on the Water program, expanding to launch a Spanish version of our 1,000 Eyes on the Water program to reach Miami's Latinx community. We want every South Floridian to have clean water and help protect it for future generations.
Other future expansions for this program include a mobile app for pollution reporting, additional training courses on specialized pollution sources, like stormwater and septic pollution, and continuous strides to build clean water advocacy and environmental literacy across the many communities we serve.
We thank the Jorge M. Pérez Family Foundation for their continued support and look forward to another two years of our impactful partnership.