Miami-Dade mayor appoints first-ever county officer to oversee Biscayne Bay

Saving Biscayne Bay: Septic tanks have to go, researchers say

MIAMI, Fla. – Scientists and environmentalists have been sounding the alarm for years, but this summer was one of the worst for Biscayne Bay. In August, there was a massive, unprecedented fish kill and then a devastating algae bloom. These were two big warning signs that Biscayne Bay has reached a critical tipping point.

The health of the Bay was one of the issues that Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava ran her campaign on in November 2020.

On Friday, Cava announced the county’s first Chief Bay Officer.

Irela Bagué will advise the Mayor and Board of County Commissioners on all issues relating to the health of the Bay, and act as a liaison between departments, boards, external agencies, stakeholder groups, and local, state, and federal governments, according to a release from Cava’s office.

“We must take immediate action to preserve Biscayne Bay, and nobody is better prepared to help lead that effort than Irela,” said Cava. “She brings deep subject matter expertise and an outstanding career as an advocate and communicator to this critical role helping move forward policies to preserve and protect the Bay.”

Bagué was running her own consulting firm that had a focus on strategic communications, water policy, sustainability, and climate mitigation, among other specialties. She also served as the Chair of the County’s Biscayne Bay Task Force.

She said that she was honored to be named the first Chief Bay Office and will work with Cava and the Board of County Commissions “to help chart a long-term course for a resilient and healthy Bay.”

In December, the state of Florida and Miami-Dade County launched a $20 million protection and preservation project for the Bay.

RELATED: Watch Local 10′s special hosted by Louis Aguirre: “Saving Biscayne Bay” below:

About the Author:

Michelle F. Solomon is the podcast producer/reporter/host of Local 10's original, true-crime podcast The Florida Files and a digital journalist for Local