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Environment

Vice Chairwoman Audrey M. Edmonson (left) joined José González (center), assistant director of Miami-Dade County Environmental Resources Management Department (DERM), and Susanne M. Torriente, Director, Miami-Dade County Office of Sustainability, on a boat tour of key points around District 3 including Port of Miami improvements, the working waterfront and Miami and Little Rivers, bay habitat restoration projects and artificial reefs. Vice Chairwoman Edmonson also was joined by Dr. Stephen Blair, Chief, Restorations and Enhancement Section and Dr. Susan Markley, Water Resources Coordinator and Chief, Environmental Education Communication Office (EECO) who provided updates on the County's efforts to preserve and enhance our waterfront.

Two of Miami-Dade County’s environmentally sensitive areas include the shallow waters in the vicinity of Card Sound Road and southern Biscayne Bay, where lost and abandoned crab and lobster traps can have a negative impact on marine resources.  These “derelict” traps may harm sensitive ecosystems, cause economic impact to the fishing industry, and can be a hazard to recreational and commercial vessels.  Derelict traps frequently continue to ensnare and kill crabs, fish and other marine organisms for years.

The invasion has reached the Loxahatchee River.

Lionfish, native to oceans halfway around the world, have reached the estuary near Jupiter, threatening the local ecosystems.

Researchers at Florida International University have discovered the foreign predator, an invasive species originally from Guam, nearly three miles inside the Loxahatchee River.

The inlet is of particular importance, FIU researchers say, because of the dozens of native species of juvenile fish that utilize the river as a nursery before making their way to coral reefs and other marine habitats. To watch a video of lionfish and FIU's efforts to track it, please click here.

Studies show many coastal residents don't know enough about the dangers borne by rising waters.

Another hurricane season is upon us and, for coastal residents, that means the usual:

1) The annual predictions of how many storms forecasters prognosticate will be a problem this season.

2) A round of warnings about who's at risk and how overdue some areas are for a landfalling storm.

3) Studies that remind us how unprepared some coastal dwellers are should a major storm event head their way.

Nos. 1 and 2 were easy to find: Up to 18 named storms, with 6-10 of those breaching hurricane status (74 mph winds) and 3-6 of those having the potential to become major hurricanes (winds in excess of 111 mph). Almost every article that mentioned these numbers also mentioned that it's been five years since a major hurricane made a U.S. landfall, inferring (or even flatly saying) that means we're overdue.

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