Our 2019 numbers are in, and they are certainly something to boast about! This last year was a year of growth for Miami Waterkeeper across all fronts of our organization. Without sharing too much, we want to showcase some of our greatest successes over the past year.
Community education and outreach work was a big focus for us in 2019. In June, we graduated 22 Junior Ambassadors who have since gone on to be environmental advocates in their communities. Some of our graduates even returned in the Fall as part of our Junior Ambassador Leadership Board. Do you know a student that would be a great Junior Ambassadors? Check out our Junior Ambassador program page here in the Spring to find out how to apply!
1,000 Eyes on the Water & Volunteer Service
Switching gears from youth to the general public, our 1,000 Eyes on the Water Program saw updates to training modules and is now at 740 eyes, or 370 patrol members! We are so excited to see this program meet its goal in 2020 and to further engage with our existing patrol members. Find out how you can become a patrol member by attending one of our free community trainings offered across Miami here.
The past year has also been a great year for our volunteer service events. Partnering with local government, community members, and corporate partners, we were backed by over 900 volunteers! We helped restore public green spaces with restoration events spanning three coastal parks and we cleaned up multiple coastlines by collecting over 550 pounds of trash! Want to become a Miami Waterkeeper volunteer? Click here for our schedule of upcoming events.
Water Quality Monitoring & Swim Guide
Our in-house water quality monitoring program saw its first full year of operation in 2019. Launched in late 2018, our in-house water quality monitoring program has been testing local waters for high levels of fecal indicator bacteria in key recreation areas across Miami-Dade County. This year, we conducted 446 tests, resulting in 60 water quality failures! We notified the public of these failures, and those from the Florida Department of Health’s testing, through our free Swim Guide app and social media. In total, this resulted in 198 failed water quality tests across South Florida. Wow!
Clean Water Advocacy
Not only were we busy wading through waters and educating community members about pollution, but we were also advocating for better water quality throughout South Florida and beyond! We were on the road speaking to diverse audiences 102 times in 2019. Amongst these engagements, our team gave 14 public comments or presentations to elected officials advocating for various water resource protection issues. We also submitted 25 public documents or technical reviews advocating for policy change on various topics related to sea-level rise, water quality, and marine ecosystem protection. That’s a lot of advocacy! Want to learn more about current campaigns and how you can get involved? Click here to find out more.
So there you have it, a handful of our 2019 water wins demonstrating some of the impact we made in 2019! Check back soon for our 2019 Annual Report, which will showcase more of the broader impact Miami Waterkeeper has had and the amazing community partners who helped us achieve these results. The takeaway question is: How will you be involved in 2020? Get engaged and join us in ensuring swimmable, drinkable, fishable water for all!