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.
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
“The Corps is conducting this project like a bull in an environmental china shop.”
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’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
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.”