MIAMI – Manatees in Biscayne Bay were recently forced to swim through plumes of silt and sediment from the construction site of Miami’s iconic new bridge.
Albert Gomez, of the Biscayne Bay Marine Health Coalition, indicated the images of the pollution coming from the site of the I-395 / SR 836 / I-95 project were disturbing. Construction is a partnership between the Florida Department of Transportation and the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority.
“If we continue to allow this to happen, we will be out of a berry,” Gomez said on Friday. “We will have a body of dead water.”
Miami Commissioner Ken Russell said Miami-Dade state and county officials were relying on contractors to take the appropriate precautions. When entrepreneurs fail, he said government agencies should be held accountable.
“When these pollutants enter the water, they coat the grasses. These herbs cannot breathe. They can’t see the sunlight. They can’t create oxygen and then die and the fish die and the manatees die, ”Russell said.
Biscayne Bay is also home to Bottlenose Dolphins, Tarpon, Bonefish, Permit, Snook, Shark, Snapper, Group and other native and non-native fish.
The city has issued citations to three FDOT locations. One of the quotes was released after a witness shared a photo showing similar runoff along the Miami River. Miami-Dade County has also issued its own waste dump notice.
“You’re supposed to put gates, vinyl gates along the perimeter of the property,” Gomez said.
Russell said there must also be a baffle in the water to contain any spills.
“Apparently these were deleted last week because the project is almost done,” Russell said. “They weren’t expecting such heavy rain.
He said state authorities were cooperating and committed to developing a plan to address the issue.
Learn more about Biscayne Bay
Copyright 2021 by WPLG Local10.com – All rights reserved.