KEY BISCAYNE, FLA. (WSVN) - Biscayne Bay is a resilient body of water, but it needs help staying that way, so state and local leaders came together in Key Biscayne to discuss the efforts currently being made to revitalize it.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Noah Valenstein met at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, Monday afternoon.

The media conference was held to discuss the resiliency of the bay, officials said.

DeSantis said a major $10 million cash infusion from the state is being channeled specifically toward cleaning up and fixing up the bay.

“I want to continue to see healthy coral reefs, efficient seagrass and necessary fresh water inflows, he said, “and we will continue to work with folks in Miami-Dade County, including Mayor Cava, as well as my state agencies, to make that happen.”

Miami-Dade County is matching that $10 million show of support from the state to get rolling on restoration projects.

“Our seagrass meadows are in retreat. There are algae blooms that are plaguing the normally crystal-clear waters, and there are fish kills literally bringing the crisis off our shores vividly to the surface all too recently, and our beautiful coral reefs are in jeopardy,” said Levine Cava.

Earlier in the year, a massive fish kill occurred in the bay.

The South Florida Environmental Group Miami Waterkeeper said nutrient pollution from fertilizer runoff and sewage leaks led to the fish kill.

There was also an algae bloom that Miami Waterkeeper said was a direct result caused by the dead fish.

Florida is home to the third largest coral barrier reef system on the planet, and South Florida is the only place in the continental U.S. with a coral reef. The underwater ecosystem serves as an actual lifeline, both physically and financially.

“It’s a tremendous value to us ecologically. It’s also a powerful contributor to our economy,” said Levine Cava, “and it quietly works to protect the life and property by absorbing the power of incoming storms, so it’s an important feature of our hurricane strategy.”

After the fish kill, pumps were installed in an emergency effort to bring oxygen back into the water, but officials with Miami Waterkeeper said that if more isn’t done to protect the bay, the vicious cycle will continue to happen.

Shifting the way sewage is handled is key. Authorities are already working to determine the best homes and businesses to convert from septic systems to sanitary sewer systems.

By being proactive, officials hope, the bay, the ocean and people in the state will ultimately benefit.

“We are excited to ensure that Biscayne Bay is preserved for generations to come,” said Valenstein.

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