NORTH MIAMI, Fla. – Researchers from The Institute of Environment at Florida International University have joined the group of scientists who are investigating the recent dead-fish sightings in Miami-Dade County’s Biscayne Bay.
Witnesses reported thousands of dead fish washed ashore as far north as 135th Street in North Miami and as far south as Miami’s Museum Park area. There were fewer dead fish on Wednesday, but scientists were worried about new reports of larger marine life suffering in Biscayne Bay.
FIU researchers are focusing on the area off of Morningside Park where the fish kill appears to have started. Miami Waterkeeper, an advocacy group, reported a high level of bacteria in the area.
“It’s an emergency. The Bay is not in a good place right now,” said Piero Gardinali, associate professor at FIU. “It’s a warning sign.”
Gardinali said a lack of dissolved oxygen in the water is to blame. He also said toxic compounds coming from storm drain, fertilizer runoff, leaky septic tanks and plastic also decrease water quality.
North Bay Village residents were complaining about the stench coming from the water. Witnesses reported sightings of marine life struggling to survive at Morningside Park, Legion Park and Pelican Harbor.
The mystery that researchers are working to solve: What exactly prompted the lack of oxygen that is causing the sudden fish kill event?