Biscayne Bay Waterkeeper appoints non-proofit’s new executive director

Biscayne Bay Waterkeeper appoints non-proofit’s new executive director

Rachel Silverstein

Miami-based Biscayne Bay Waterkeeper (BBWK) recently announced the appointment of Rachel Silverstein as the non-profit organization’s new “Waterkeeper” and executive director.

Since Silverstein took the helm in June as the chief advocate and public voice for Biscayne Bay, the organization has been instrumental in the continued protection of Miami’s corals and other natural resources during the PortMiami Deep Dredge project. For example, recently, the organization catalyzed a $400,000 coral rescue funded by the Army Corps in recent legal action.

“In the three years since our founding, BBWK has become a leading advocate for Biscayne Bay and a powerful voice for sustaining our clean water economy in Miami,” Silverstein said. “I look forward to continuing this important work together with the Miami community to ensure swimmable, drinkable, fishable water in Biscayne Bay for all.”

A Miami-based non-profit organization, BBWK advocates for Biscayne Bay, its watershed, and its wildlife with the goal of educating local citizens and visitors about the vital role of Biscayne Bay in Miami’s clean water economy.

Silverstein received a PhD from the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School for Marine and Atmospheric Science in 2012. Her research focused on the effect of climate change on reef corals. Prior to joining BBWK, Rachel was a Knauss Sea Grant Fellow and then Professional Staff for the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard in Washington, DC, where she learned complexities of the role of the federal government in ocean governance and protection.

As Biscayne Bay’s newest Waterkeeper, Silverstein is part investigator, scientist, educator, and legal advocate, protecting citizens’ rights to clean water and empowering them to defend their waterways.

“Biscayne Bay plays a critical role in our region’s culture and our clean water economy,” said BBWK board chair Lauren Hornor. “To ensure that this great natural resource is protected for generations to come, we must build on Biscayne Bay Waterkeeper’s past accomplishments and continue our campaign for a clean and thriving Bay.

“Under Rachel’s leadership, our community can be confident that their voices will be heard and the interests of the Bay will be well-served when these issues are on the table,” Hornor added.

“At the top of my to-do list is expanding our education and community outreach programs, including expanded water quality testing to make sure our families are safe in the water,” Silverstein said.

Founded in 2011, BBWK responded to the urgent need for a citizen-driven organization in South Florida to speak out for Biscayne Bay and support a growing community of citizen stewards.

Numerous issues threaten the function and appearance of the bay, from historical changes to waterflow, to ongoing pollution, construction, dredging, dumping, pumping, warming, and other emerging environmental concerns.

BBWK’s work is focused on three critical environmental issues that face Biscayne Bay and its surrounding watershed: sea-level rise, clean water, and ecosystem protection. BBWK achieves its goals through community outreach, education, and legal advocacy.

BBWK is a member of the Waterkeeper Alliance, an internationally recognized, citizen’s alliance led by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., working for clean water around the world.

A Miami-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization launched in 2011, Biscayne Bay Waterkeeper (BBWK) is the first Waterkeeper in South Florida and the only advocacy organization solely dedicated to protecting Biscayne Bay and its surrounding watershed. To join the movement, visit

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