Miami-Dade County receives $13.5 million grant to protect Biscayne Bay

Miami-Dade County is receiving a $13.5 million grant for Biscayne Bay Water Quality Improvement Program projects, following an announcement by Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP). The funding will support transformative stormwater and wastewater management practices by the Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources’ (RER) Division of Environmental Resources Management’s (DERM), innovative approaches undertaken by the Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department (WASD) to extend the sanitary sewer system to convert properties currently not connected to the sewer system, as well as essential nutrient pollution reducing drainage projects overseen by the Miami-Dade County Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTPW).

“These critical funds are going to accelerate Miami-Dade’s progress in restoring Biscayne Bay, our community’s economic engine and blue heart,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “More advanced and increased water quality monitoring will enable us to pinpoint stressors and make targeted improvements for our restoration programs. Prioritizing the health and wellbeing of Biscayne Bay is an investment in the health and wellbeing of our community.”

In 2020, the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners adopted the Biscayne Bay Task Force report which outlined seven major issues to be addressed with water quality and monitoring at the forefront. Since then, the County has continued to partner with the state in advancing priority projects and has received $50.9 million in state funding including the recent $13.5 million award.

“We are grateful for the commitment of our Governor, State Legislature, the Biscayne Bay Commission, and agency partners. More than 95% of the Biscayne Bay Task Force’s recommendations have been completed or initiated since 2020,” said Irela Bagué, Miami-Dade County’s Chief Bay Officer. “This support is instrumental in ensuring our continued success in the ongoing recovery efforts for Biscayne Bay. Safeguarding this ecological treasure not only fosters economic growth but also contributes to the overall well-being of our community.”

Under the leadership and support of Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, this multi-agency County partnership works in concert to restore the health and resilience of Biscayne Bay, which will support our community both environmentally and economically.

“These state dollars enable the County to leverage funds to identify sources of water quality pollution and reduce or eliminate nutrient pollution reaching Biscayne Bay through innovative stormwater and wastewater projects,” said Lisa Spadafina, Director of RER’s DERM Division.

Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department Director Roy Coley is eager to utilize these funds to further the county’s mission to restore Biscayne Bay.

“This grant will produce long-term benefits for the health of our community,” said Coley. “We will be able to install new infrastructure and provide wastewater services to an area previously not served by our department and that will result in a decrease of nutrients and pathogens to waterways that are tributaries to Biscayne Bay.

Miami-Dade County is committed to ensuring the resilience of our community. Under the leadership of Mayor Levine Cava, County staff continues to seek additional sources of funding to restore and protect Biscayne Bay and County waterways. A healthy Bay equals a healthy economy, and a future ready community.

An additional $6.5 million for restoration and other projects was awarded to municipalities within the County including North Bay Village, Town of Cutler Bay, and Indian Creek Village.

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