Some might remember the massive fish kill that occurred in Biscayne Bay last August when thousands of dead fish came offshore.
At the time, one of the causes was reported to be “low dissolved oxygen levels.”
Researchers now worry about the risk of another fish kill this summer. According to a report by Local 10 – WPLG News, oxygen levels at the mouth of the Biscayne canal into the bay are dangerously low.
Todd Crowl, director of the FIU Institute of Environment, has been monitoring the oxygen levels in the bay. “We should not see oxygen get below 5, 6,” Crowl said.
Crowl led a team of researchers from Florida International University’s Institute of Environment on a mission to find the source of the problem. According to the WPLG report, the cause appears to be chemical — an overload of dangerous nutrients from land-based pollution.
“We really need to figure out where this is coming from and come up with a fix,” Crowl said, adding that “We are going to have fish dying if we don’t get out there and figure out how to oxygenate the bay.”
Irela Bagué Miami-Dade County’s first Chief Bay Officer agrees. “We are in a time crunch because summer is around the corner.”
Under Bagué’s leadership, five chemicals leaking abandoned vessels have been removed, but there are more. Bagué told WPLG “It’s a huge problem, and we’re one of the worst counties with that problem. People just abandon these things. It’s a huge bureaucratic problem to remove them.”
The County has increased the funding to remove more abandoned vessels from the bay.
Irela Bagué is hopeful. “Bagué said. “Tampa Bay did it. The Chesapeake Bay did it. We can do it.”
For the entire WPLG-News report, click here.