MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Something fishy is going on in the waters of Biscayne Bay. Hundreds of fish are dead. Now, environmental groups are trying to figure out why.
There were at least seven reports of dead or dying fish Monday, and experts said it’s a sad sign that the bay needs our help.
It’s a beautiful Tuesday night out on Biscayne Bay, as lights from the Miami Beach skyline shimmer on the water.
But just one day prior, it was a much more sad and concerning sight: Fish dead from a lack of oxygen were seen on the surface.
“This is a really devastating sign for the bay, and the bay needs urgent intervention,” said Rachel Silverstein, executive director of Miami Waterkeeper.
The environmental organization Miami Waterkeeper received seven reports of fish kills on Monday, ranging from a few and several hundred.
She said the likely cause, pollution.
“Too much pollution in Biscayne Bay coming from our sewage system, our septic tanks, our stormwater and our fertilizer overuse,” Silverstein said.
State and county crews were out collecting and testing water samples on Tuesday.
“This needs to really be a huge wake-up call,” said Bianca Abbott, who grew up in the area. “It’s just really sad that people aren’t connecting to the environment and how important it is for us all to be healthy.”
Miami-Dade’s mayor is also worried.
“This is another reminder that the health of our beloved bay is in jeopardy, which is why Miami-Dade County is committed to taking all possible action to turn around the crisis facing all our waters,” said Mayor Daniella Levine Cava in a news release.
The crisis was at its worst in August of last year.
“We actually counted all of the fish in the over 400 photos and videos sent to us last year and found out there were over 27,000 fish that were reported dead,” Silverstein said.
The numbers are nowhere near that high this time, but with the heat and lack of wind expected the rest of the week, the waters could become even more depleted of oxygen.
The county is already trying to mitigate the situation, as leaders banned fertilizer use from May 15 through Oct. 1.
This year’s proposed county budget has about $4 million set aside to focus on preserving and protecting the bay.
“Those investments are crucial for protecting this jewel that our community is built around, that sustains our community here, our economy and our environment,” Silverstein said.
“The more that we can connect and have a movement of change, the better, and it happens at the community level,” Abbott said.
Anyone who would like to report fish kills can email fishkill@Miamiwaterkeeper.org.
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