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Environment

On Tuesday, 5 July, the government of The Bahamas will announce new protections for sharks in the country's waters, approximately 630,000 square kilometers (243,244 square miles). This declaration is the result of a partnership between the Pew Environment Group and The Bahamas National Trust, which began just as a major Bahamian seafood company announced its intention in September 2010 to catch sharks and export their fins.

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.

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