miami waterkeeper blog

State of the Water 2021

Miami Waterkeeper hosted its third annual State of the Water address on Thursday evening, March 4th, 2021. This free, virtual event gathered community leaders to provide a full and fact-based overview of the major issues facing our watershed and solutions for the coming year. 

At the State of the Water, Miami Waterkeeper, Dr. Rachel Silverstein provided an overview of the year’s top water quality issues touching on one of the biggest threats to our Bay, nutrient pollution. Dr. Silverstein went into detail about last summer’s fish kill and algae bloom events and Miami Waterkeeper's role in the response effort. We also heard from the community who sent in questions during the event, and Dr. Silverstein answered the questions after her presentation. 


Reporter Louis Aguirre shared his feature special from Local 10 News in the Summer of 2020 illustrating the unprecedented fish kill event. Click HERE to access the special feature in the State of the Water address or HERE to watch it on Local 10 News.


We were honored to have special guests join us for the event, including 

  • Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, Miami Dade County 
  • Mayor Francis Suarez, City of Miami
  • Louis Aguirre, Anchor of Local 10 News
  • David Schwedel, Co-chairman, Board of Trustees
  • Paul Schwiep, Partner, Coffey Burlington


David Schwedel shared some opening remarks and illustrated his commitment to Biscayne Bay by serving as the Co-chairman of the Miami Waterkeeper Board of Trustees.


Mayor Daniella Levine Cava shared some remarks about her commitment to our waterways.


The Porter Prize was also presented at this year's State of the Water. The inaugural Porter Prize is named after an individual who dedicated thousands of hours to Miami Waterkeeper's mission and who was deeply dedicated to protecting the overall health of Biscayne Bay, James M. Porter, Esq. Last year, we gave the first Porter Prize to Jim himself. We are deeply saddened by Jim’s recent passing, after a two-year battle with brain cancer. Jim represented us in almost every legal action we have taken as an organization, acting not just as an attorney but as a boat captain, advisor, and friend. We will continue to honor him every day through the work we do for our waterways. 


This year, we were honored to award the second annual Porter Prize to a member of the community who has gone above and beyond in service to the environment and was Jim’s frequent co-counsel and fellow environmental champion, Paul Schwiep. Paul is Miami Waterkeeper’s outside counsel and partner of the law firm Coffey Burlington. 

Mayor Francis Suarez, Paul Schwiep, Rachel Silverstein, and Commissioner Ken Russell met at City Hall earlier that week (distanced, and masked) for a formal presentation of the award to Paul. 


Clean water is what makes Miami, Miami. This year's State of the Water also marked the culmination of Miami Waterkeeper's 10th anniversary as an organization. While we have been able to accomplish so much in 10 years, there is still much more to do. Together, and as a community, we can work to ensure swimmable, drinkable, and fishable water for all of South Florida for the current and future generations to come.


A special thank you to our sponsors who made the event possible; Aviva and Aaron Stauber, Park West Gallery, Rickenbacker Marina, and Xylem a YSI Brand. 

If you missed the State of the Water Address and are interested in watching, please watch below:



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