The PortMiami expansion is nearly complete, making Miami the first port in the State of Florida capable of accepting the supersized ships that will soon sail through the expanded Panama Canal. But we do not believe that the PortMiami dredging project has been the unmitigated success its proponents claim it to be. The evidence is clear that the dredging operation, which began in November 2013, has deposited an asphyxiating blanket of sediment atop our coral reef: the same reefs that protect Miami Beach’s imperiled coastline from storm surges; support our teeming fish populations; and help sustain our booming tourist industry. Many Americans do not know that South Florida is home to the only coral reef tract in the continental United States: as unique as the sequoias of California or the geysers of Wyoming, and no less deserving of our protection.
“The corps claims it’s a ‘learning agency,’ but all plans so far show that the corps is not intending to improve its practices in Port Everglades after destroying over 200 acres of reef in Miami, and with this letter we show our intent to push for better protection for Fort Lauderdale’s reefs,” said the executive director of Waterkeeper, Rachel Silverstein.
Algae bloom visualization. Photo credit: Peter Essick, National Geographic / Resource Out of Place Visualization 2015
We are thrilled to announce that Miami Waterkeeper, along with our partners at University of Miami and Florida Sea Grant, have been awarded the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Habitat Focus Area grant!Read more
We are thrilled to announce the addition of our newest board member, Greg Clark. Greg has already been an incredible asset to Miami Waterkeeper, bringing his positive energy and diverse experience to the organization.Read more
“The Corps is conducting this project like a bull in an environmental china shop.”
“The Corps has been dragging their feet and not providing the information,” said Rachel Silverstein, a marine biologist and executive director of Miami Waterkeeper.
The more time that passes without an accurate survey, she said, the harder it will be to save struggling coral or determine just how much damage has been done. In June, Silverstein surveyed the area and found surrounding reefs dusted with silt. Fisheries Service divers found a similar moonscape, with sediment about a half inch to four inches deep.
“Everything is being eroded out there and it’s hard to tell what has died,” she said. “That information is critical to holding the Corps accountable.”
How much plastic have you used today? Chances are, quite a bit.
Plastic is found in products all around us and has become an integral part of our daily lives. Unfortunately, plastic is often not disposed of properly and is threatening the health of our oceans. From bottle caps and fishing lines to plastic bags and packaging, about 8 million tons of plastic enters the ocean each year. Most of this plastic is considered "single use" and is designed to be thrown away after just a few minutes.
Just how bad is the problem?Read more
“Mangroves have long been protected because they provide a critical barrier between land and water: their tangled roots help trap sediment and protect coastal areas from hurricanes while providing food and shelter for fish. Researchers found that reefs located near mangroves can have 25 times more fish, said Miami Waterkeeper executive director Rachel Silverstein.
Federal officials estimate that northern Biscayne Bay has lost 82 percent of its mangrove. Since 1996, cutting a mangrove in Miami-Dade County has required a county permit.”
We are thrilled to announce that we were awarded a Rapid Ocean Conservation (ROC) Grant from the Waitt Foundation. These grants provide quick-turnaround funding to address emergent conservation issues. This type of funding is rare and critically important for conservation because these grants can be used to address sudden crises, such as algal blooms, oil spills, or coral bleaching. When environmental issues need an immediate response, waiting through a typical grant cycle be too slow.
Biscayne Bay Waterkeeper is thrilled to announce the addition of our newest board member, Phil Kushlan.
Phil is a Ph.D. student at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and received a Maytag Fellowship to study coral resiliency under climate change conditions.Read more