Footage present development websites in Miami polluting Biscayne Bay

MIAMI – Manatees in Biscayne Bay were recently forced to swim through plumes of mud, the sediment runoff from the construction site of Miami’s new signature bridge.

Albert Gomez of the Biscayne Bay Marine Health Coalition said the images of pollution emanating from the site of the I-395 / SR 836 / I-95 project were worrying. The construction is a partnership between the Florida Department of Transportation and the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority.

“If we let that continue, we will have no more bay,” said Gomez on Friday. “We will have dead water.”

Miami commissioner Ken Russell said Miami-Dade state and county officials rely on contractors to take the correct precautions. When the contractors fail, government agencies must be held accountable.

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“When these pollutants get into the water, they cover the grass. These grasses cannot breathe. You can’t see the sunlight. You can’t make oxygen and then die and fish die and manatees die, ”Russell said.

Biscayne Bay is also home to bottlenose dolphins, tarpon, bonefish, permit, snook, shark, snapper, groupe, and more native and non-native fish.

The city has cited three FDOT locations. One of the quotes was issued after a witness shared a photo showing a similar runoff along the Miami River. Miami-Dade County also issued its own landfill quote.

“You should put barriers, vinyl barriers, all along the property,” said Gomez.

Russell said there also needs to be a baffle in the water to contain spills.

“Apparently these were removed last week as the project is almost complete,” said Russell. “They didn’t expect such heavy rain.”

He said state authorities are cooperating and determined to come up with a plan to address the problem.

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