Biscayne Bay Waterkeeper’s first peer reviewed journal article is out! BBWK partnered with Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch for this study that examines the sustainability of U.S. fisheries. We found that 98% of U.S., wild-caught fisheries are considered “best choice” or “good alternative” eco-friendly choices, according to Monterey Bay Aquarium”s Seafood Watch. While it was found that the majority of U.S. fisheries are rated “Best Choice” or “Good Alternative”, only 19% received the top “Best Choice” rating. This limitation was primarily due to bycatch concerns.Read more
“Conservation biologists, for the most part, are supremely passionate about the places and things they study. If a call comes in the middle of the night, the professional culture within conservation biology encourages scientists to answer. Biscayne Bay Waterkeeper. “The problem comes with concentration, and if there are too many people in one spot peeing in the ocean or sewage spills there can be big problems.”
“On two separate dives last week, Waterkeeper divers found and photographed sickly staghorn coral that had been transplanted from the channel to a nearby artificial reef a year ago for protection. The photos show tagged colonies now coated with sediment and dead or dying.”
Biscayne Bay Waterkeeper is excited to announce our new partnership with the University of Florida Levin College of Law Conservation Clinic. UF law students will work with us to develop a comprehensive report examining the legal and policy-based framework that overlays Biscayne Bay and its surrounding areas. The report will focus on summarizing the federal, state, and local laws and policy, which govern Biscayne Bay.
Biscayne Bay is surrounded by diverse federal, state, and local entities, including one national park (Biscayne National Park), multiple state preserves and state parks (e.g. Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserve, Oleta River State Park, Barnacle Historic State Park, Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, Bill Sadowski Critical Wildlife Area, and others), one county (Miami-Dade County) and over 30 municipalities. To the south lies the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, which includes Crocodile Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, and the Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park. We hope to examine these governance frameworks to show areas of overlap and dissonance between governance and interaction with the Bay.
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“This settlement is a win for the environment and for local taxpayers, who are still on the hook for the Army Corps of Engineers’ mess. Our reefs and bay are ecological and aesthetic jewels, critical to our clean water economy and local culture. It’s a shame, and shameful, that we had to sue the federal government to get it to follow federal law.”
Nonetheless, the NOAA report is “a very big deal,” says Rachel Silverstein, executive director of Biscayne Bay Waterkeeper, another environmental group against the dredge.
“This is confirmation of what we’ve been saying all along,” she says. “It’s bittersweet for us because it confirms that our reefs have really been devastated because of the project. That’s not easy to hear but hopefully it does spur the Corps to action to actually do something to help the corals before it’s too late.”
“Our goal is not to stop the dredging but to ensure that the environment is protected and that everyone follows the rules set out when the project was started, and that’s not happening,” said Rachel Silverstein, executive director of Biscayne Bay Waterkeeper.
“So far, it seems the agencies are focused on trying to remedy the damage that’s been caused rather than prevent future damage,” Silverstein said.