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Ocean Conservancy and City of Miami Announce "Shores Forward" Partnership.

Ocean Conservancy and the City of Miami announced a partnership to protect the region's ocean and coasts, including iconic Biscayne Bay and the Miami River. The city is the first ever "Shores Forward" partner, a new initiative led by Ocean Conservancy to partner with local leaders in the fight to conserve Florida's marine environment.

"Biscayne Bay serves as a crown jewel of Miami that is critical to our economy and quality of life," says Mayor Francis Suarez. "Ocean Conservancy's commitment to helping the city advance comprehensive solutions for the long-term health of our waters is a vital component to safeguard our natural assets as part of our larger resiliency efforts."

"This is an all-hands-on-deck moment," says Emily Woglom, executive vice president of Ocean Conservancy. "Helping Florida's coasts means we have to work together. All levels of government must play a role, and we're thrilled to be working with the City of Miami to find solutions to these pressing issues."

The "Shores Forward" partnership will focus on five key issues identified in Ocean Conservancy's new Currents and Crossroads report:

** Water quality: The city has increased its water quality monitoring and is updating its stormwater design guidelines. Miami will establish regulations and formal training requirements for landscaping professionals and other commercial fertilizer applicators in the city. The city and Ocean Conservancy are also committing to develop educational materials for consumers and residents to understand the proper times and ways to apply fertilizers to avoid negative impacts on the environment.

** Marine wildlife: Miami will take steps to restore habitat and protect marine wildlife, including: implementing grates over stormwater outfalls to protect manatees; mangrove restoration efforts; marking storm drains to indicate impacts to marine wildlife; and committing to stronger enforcement of boating laws in sensitive habitats.

** Education and outreach: Mayor Suarez will launch his Mayor's Challenge with local nonprofit organization Dream in Green to support conservation curriculum in Miami schools. Ocean Conservancy and Dream in Green are formal partners, working together to bring ocean education into Miami-area classrooms.

** Marine debris: The City of Miami and Ocean Conservancy are committing to work with plastic pollution scientists to conduct a comprehensive, citywide survey of Miami's plastic litter and pollution footprint. Miami will be the first major U.S. city to perform a comprehensive plastic pollution survey of this type.

** Carbon pollution: Miami is taking steps to move towards a renewable energy future by updating its greenhouse gas inventory, converting its fleet to hybrid cars, creating incentives to switch to solar energy, and improving infrastructure with electric car charging stations.

"The City of Miami is stepping up and showing real leadership and prioritizing ocean health," says J.P. Brooker, senior manager and policy counsel for Ocean Conservancy's Florida Conservation program. "This partnership is just the first step in a long journey. This partnership depends on all of us working together--from local businesses, to advocates, city and county officials, and beyond."

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Publication:Plastics Engineering
Geographic Code:1U5FL
Date:Jan 1, 2020
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