Miami Beach has announced a Shores Forward partnership with the Ocean Conservancy that will support the city’s #PlasticFreeMB initiative and other environmental programs intended to protect and preserve local waterways and beaches.
“The economic fate of our city is inextricably tied to our success in keeping beaches and waterways clear of trash and other pollutants as we prioritize the protection of our marine habitats,” Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber observed. “This partnership will make the city a better steward of our world-famous backyard.”
Shores Forward is an Ocean Conservancy initiative to protect Florida’s ocean and coastal areas in partnership with local governments. The Ocean Conservancy will partner with the City of Miami Beach to address areas impacting ocean health, such as ocean debris, marine wildlife, water quality, carbon pollution, climate change, education and outreach. Miami Beach will benefit from project funding, increased expertise, project management capacity and connections to relevant partners.
“Ocean Conservancy is thrilled to have Miami Beach join Shores Forward,” Chief of Strategy for Ocean Conservancy Kacky Andrews said. “This is an all-hands-on-deck moment. Protecting Florida’s coasts means we all have to work together.”
The city hopes to collaborate with Ocean Conservancy on various city projects involving green infrastructure, living shorelines, bioretention cells, blue and green roofs as well as natural and artificial reefs.
Ocean Conservancy along with local nonprofit Miami Waterkeeper is assisting the city with its first fertilizer ordinance. Ocean Conservancy will help promote alternatives for turf lawns to further improve Miami Beach’s environmental stewardship. The organization plans to work with other South Florida stakeholders to develop local seagrass nurseries and provide specimens for plantings with the goal of providing abundant seagrass coverage throughout Miami-Dade County.
“The addition of Miami Beach to our Shores Forward is big news for South Florida and Biscayne Bay. These partnerships with local governments are crucial to the health of our ocean and the communities that depend on it,” J.P. Brooker, director of Ocean Conservancy’s Florida Conservation program added. “This partnership is just the first step in a long journey. We look forward to beginning our work with Miami Beach on the many new projects in store.”