MIAMI ( September 08, 2021 ) — The Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources, Division of Environmental Resources Management (RER-DERM), continues its response to the fish kill that occurred around the area of the 79th Street Basin. This release includes an update detailing the response effort underway, ways the community can help, and County initiatives to protect Bay health:
Fish kill response update
By the end of yesterday, staff conducted monitoring activities in north Biscayne Bay, including the basins south of the Julia Tuttle Causeway, south of the 79th street Causeway, and south of the 125th Street Causeway. DERM and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) coordinated sampling efforts to maximize coverage across the affected basins. They collected physical water quality parameters including dissolved oxygen, temperature and salinity as well as samples for nutrients and other chemical parameters. There were no areas of anoxia, or areas devoid of dissolved oxygen, within the water column at any of the sites.
The crews observed approximately 150 dead fish, with about 50 near the Edgewater area and about 100 north of Biscayne Point. No new areas of fish kill have been reported and numbers remain low overall. The species of these fish included some bottom-dwelling fish such as puffers, toadfish and porcupine fish as well as other species including mojarras and snapper.
With higher water temperatures and lower wind conditions prevailing this week, along with other factors, conditions may still contribute to subsequent fish kill events.
DERM and DEP remain diligent and will continue to monitor conditions.
How the community can help protect the Bay
Residents can report a fish kill 24/7 online at http://tinyurl.com/baywatch305, by emailing email@example.com, or by calling 305-372-6955. The use of fertilizers is generally prohibited during the rainy season and the public can learn more about why it’s so important to protect the health of the Bay here: www.miamidade.gov/fertilizer. Reducing the use of plastic and polystyrene and picking up trash and dog waste are also important steps we can all take to prevent pollution in the Bay.
County initiatives to protect and preserve the Bay
Miami-Dade County is committed to taking all possible action to turn around the crisis facing our waters. The County is aggressively accelerating investments in replacing or repairing critical water infrastructure and septic to sewer conversion. Earlier this year, the County Commission passed and the County began implementing a ban on fertilizer use during the rainy season (May 15 – October 31), when nutrients are more likely to be carried in water flowing off the urban landscape. And this year’s proposed budget includes nearly $4 million dollars to tackle fish kills and flooding, handle seaweed collection and removal, and preserve and protect Biscayne Bay.