In a press conference at Miami City Hall yesterday, City of Miami and Ocean Conservancy announced a “partnership to protect the region’s ocean and coasts, including iconic Biscayne Bay and the Miami River.”
The City of Miami is the first ever “Shores Forward” partner, a brand new initiative led by Ocean Conservancy to partner with local leaders in the fight to conserve Florida’s most treasured asset: its marine environment.Ocean Conservancy press release
The “Shores Forward” partnership will focus on 5 key issue areas identified in Ocean Conservancy’s new Currents and Crossroads report
- Water quality: The City has increased its water quality monitoring and is in the process of updating its stormwater design guidelines. Miami will establish regulations and formal training requirements for landscaping professionals and other commercial fertilizer applicators in the City. Miami and Ocean Conservancy are also committing to work together to develop educational materials for consumers, residents and the general public to understand the proper times and ways to apply fertilizers to avoid negative impacts on the environment and the ocean.
- Marine wildlife: Miami will take new steps to restore habitat and protect marine wildlife, including implementing grates over stormwater outfalls to protect manatees, mangrove restoration efforts, marking storm drains to indicate impacts to marine wildlife, and committing to stronger enforcement of boating laws in sensitive habitats like Shrimpers Lagoon.
- Education and outreach: Mayor Francis Suarez will launch his “Mayor’s Challenge” with local non-profit Dream in Green to support conservation curriculum in Miami schools. Ocean Conservancy and Dream in Green are formal partners, working together to bring ocean education into Miami-area classrooms, and the city’s commitment further bolsters this effort.
- Marine debris: There’s enough plastic entering the ocean to fill Hard Rock Stadium to the brim every other day year round, so we know that cleanups alone won’t solve the problem. The City of Miami and Ocean Conservancy are committing to work together and with world-renowned plastic pollution scientists to conduct a comprehensive, city-wide survey of Miami’s plastic litter and pollution footprint. Miami will be the first major U.S. city to perform a comprehensive plastic pollution survey of this type. Once completed, this study will give the city the information it needs to make data-driven decisions on how to most effectively tackle the city’s plastic pollution challenges.
- Carbon pollution: Miami is taking concrete steps to move the Magic City toward a renewable energy future by updating its greenhouse gas inventory, converting its fleet to hybrid cars and creating incentives to switch to solar energy and improving infrastructure with electric car charging stations.