It’s a common sight along the shores of Biscayne Bay, which is causing harm.
Cloudy discharge spewing from the bay are silt pumes, which is sediment runoff from the construction site of Miami’s new signature bridge.
Every time it rains, all the unsecured construction debris and dust mix with the storm water than then flows into the bay, adding to the pollution load and putting these waters and all its marine life at risk.
“That settles on coral and sea grasses and kills them,” said Ken Russell, commissioner for the city of Miami. “That’s the food for manatees, that’s the oxygen for our water that can lead to fish kills, which is not a good thing.”
The signature bridge project is part of a more than $800 million design project by the Florida Department of Transportation and the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority.
In early September, the city issued citations to three FDOT locations for pollution caused by construction sites.
Russell said last week, a resolution was passed by the city commission allowing the city attorney to file suit against FDOT and their contractors.
“This is now the fourth, fifth time we have seen it happen,” Russell said. “We have cited them before, we have get them notice of violation before.”
On Saturday, Russell met with FDOT, who explained mitigation efforts are already in place, including berms to hold polluted water in place and preventing it from making it into the bay.
Russell said FDOT told him more will be done in the coming days.