Monique Paul

Document Type

Internship Report

Publication Date

Fall 2018


Biscayne Bay is a shallow estuary located adjacent to the city of Miami, one of the largest metropolitan areas in the United States. The Bay is considered an “Outstanding Florida Water” because of its pristine beaches, clean water, and excellent recreation opportunities. Recreation in the Bay is extremely economically important, so it is necessary that the Bay’s waters remain clean. Nutrient pollution entering the Bay has increased in recent years, and there have been three unprecedented algal blooms since the early 2000s. Algal blooms occur when there is a significant increase in primary productivity of algae, usually due to the addition of nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorous to a water body. Algal blooms can be unsightly and create a foul smell. They also can lead to oxygen depletion zone (hypoxia & anoxia) and create fish kills, as well as cause harm to seagrass and coral reefs. Additionally, algal blooms can lead to negative health effects in humans. Runoff from fertilizer use is one source of nutrient pollution in Biscayne Bay. Fertilizer is used commonly to manage healthy urban lawns and landscapes. Many Florida counties have adopted local ordinances, best management practices, or state regulation to address the issue of nutrient pollution and to minimize nutrient loss to waterbodies. This project reviewed best management practices research and local ordinances and attempted to reconcile them in a draft of a local fertilizer ordinance for municipalities in Miami-Dade County with the goal that such an ordinance would decrease the amount of nutrients polluting Biscayne Bay. In addition, a resolution expressing the will of municipalities to ban the use of certain pesticides was also drafted.


Department: MES

MPS Track: MCO

Location: Miami Waterkeeper

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