Our Impact

Ensuring Ecosystem Protection

  • Our litigation over illegal coral reef damage during the Port of Miami expansion dredging is ongoing, but has already generated numerous benefits. Miami Waterkeeper catalyzed the rescue of several hundred threatened staghorn corals adversely impacted by this project, generating an estimated $14 million in benefits to the public.

  • After failing to learn lessons from the excessive reef damage caused in Miami, the Army Corps is now pursuing another dredging project near our coral reefs in Broward County. We filed another lawsuit to protect our Florida Reef tract, and have already succeeded in obtaining new environmental assessments and a postponement of construction for at least 2 years while better protections are secured.

  • Miami Waterkeeper exposed an ongoing sewage leak that had been ignored by Miami-Dade County for a year. Our efforts resulted in the leak being plugged in just a few days. 

Keeping Miami Sparkling

  • We advocated for a successful county-wide Styrofoam ban in recreation areas, Miami-Dade’s recent fracking ban, and City of Coral Gables Styrofoam and plastic bag ban – the first in Florida.

  • We are spearheading an ongoing effort to prevent the state of Florida from allowing more cancer-causing and toxic chemicals in our water through an administrative rule change. We have garnered thousands of petition signatures and comments on the rule, hired two experts to submit technical comments, and secured 10 resolutions by local and county municipalities opposing this rule.

  • We are fighting against harmful algae blooms -- an emerging, pollution-based problem in Biscayne Bay. Algae blooms are harmful to wildlife and humans, and they impact our ability to use and enjoy the Bay. Competing against universities across the country we have twice been awarded NOAA Habitat Focus Area grants for over $100,000 to support our work on a series of clean water actions for Biscayne Bay.

Protecting Miami's Future

  • Our Waterkeeper was appointed by elected officials to serve on the City of Miami Sea Level Rise Advisory Board and Miami-Dade County Biscayne Bay Shoreline Access Committee.

  • Miami Waterkeeper advocated for and achieved greater County funding for resiliency measures, including the hiring of a Chief Resiliency Officer.

Our Scientific Research

  • All of our work is rooted in sound science. In just three years, we have published 4 peer-reviewed scientific papers and have submitted countless technical comments to government agencies. We have advised and sponsored research for 6 graduate students and 3 undergraduate students on mission-related projects from a number of local universities, and we regularly guest lecture at schools and colleges.

  • We engage in water sampling and coral reef monitoring activities.

Our Education and Outreach

  • Our recently-launched Junior Ambassador Program, aimed at developing a cohort of young environmental leaders in South Florida through advocacy trainings, ecosystem science workshops, hands-on service projects, outreach events, and peer-mentoring, is about to graduate its first class. The program also received attention and support from local elected officials, including Mayor Lindsay of Key Biscayne and Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

  • Our diverse outreach includes dozens of events, engaging thousands of citizens and community leaders through beach clean-ups, dune restorations, boat tours of Biscayne Bay, group kayaking, paddle boarding, and sailing outings, lectures and panel discussions, classroom presentations, environmental festivals, concerts, sustainable dinners, and more.

Media Recognition

  • We have recently been directly quoted in over 60 news stories in just 3 years, including National Geographic, the New York Times, CNN, The Guardian, Miami Herald, Washington Post, and we have been interviewed for several documentaries, including one by Leonardo DiCaprio.

  • Our Waterkeeper has also published 4 Op-Eds to inform the public about key issues impacting Miami.

Awards and Honors

  • Recipient of the Miami Herald’s first Visionary Award for the Environment (2016)

  • Recipient of the University of Miami's Abess Center Reitmeister Award (2016)

  • Named Top 20 Best Environmentalists in South Florida by the New Times (2016)

  • Recipient of the Diatom Award fro Excellence in Environmental Advocacy - presented by Mayor Levine of Miami Beach (2015)

 

 

 


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