FIU Holds Biscayne Bay Marine Health Action Summit

Guests at the 2019 Biscayne Bay Marine Health Summit included Miami-Dade Commissioner Eileen Higgins, Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber, City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, and University President Mark B. Rosenberg (Center). Photo from FIU Flickr

By: Joshua Ceballos/Investigative Editor


A star studded guest list of Miami’s environmental movers and shakers and city mayors converged on the Biscayne Bay Campus this Friday to participate in the second Biscayne Bay Marine Health Action Summit.

The gathering of local advocates, politicians and scientists came to the summit to discuss the pressing issues of Biscayne Bay and how to fix them, namely: massive sewer leakage, storm water runoff, single-use plastic pollution and nutrient dumping.

Local business owners came to the summit to present their eco-friendly products and technologies, such as bamboo straws to fight single-use plastics.

All of these problems culminate in an “ecological emergency” state for one of Miami’s most important waterways that require immediate action to fix—hence the name “Action Summit.”

“I’ve lived on the Bay for near 30 years, and when I look at it now I notice that the seagrass is gone,” said Mark Rosenberg, FIU president. “We have normalized sewage leaks in our community and we run the risk of being known as the global poster child for not taking responsibility.”

The day included talks by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association scientists, members of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and Mayors Francis Suarez and Dan Gelber of Miami and Miami Beach respectively.

Panel discussions on marine debris, seagrass die and a grand jury report about Biscayne Bay made up the beginning of the 10 hour day until the group split up for the breakout sessions on four different topics: government policy and recommendations, infrastructure and public works, education and outreach, and research.

State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle received the “Harvey Ruvin” award for environmental advocacy. Photo retrieved from FIU Flickr.


By the end of the summit, organizers Steve Sauls and Irela Bague, both members of the county’s Biscayne Bay Task Force, came up with a list of recommendations for how to help keep the Bay Healthy. The list will be presented to local government officials and experts once compiled.


For a more full analysis of the day’s events, stay tuned to PantherNOW.


Be the first to comment on "FIU Holds Biscayne Bay Marine Health Action Summit"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.