Skip to Main Content

Our Institute of Environment has worked on critical Biscayne Bay research for the last 25 years. We’ve used data collected since 1995 to work with decision-makers to protect the overall health of the Bay.

Creating an Inspiring Future

The health of this vital resource is in jeopardy, but we’re working to ensure Biscayne Bay is thriving for generations.

Through our research, we’ve identified some of the factors leading to this environmental degradation. With our partners we’re implementing solutions to improve the resilience and sustainability of the beautiful Bay.

Our vision of the future includes new research-inspired tools for assessing pollution while also improving how we evaluate the toxic effects on plants, animals and people.

By developing techniques to predict the extent of toxic algal blooms and creating innovative technologies for early detection of biotoxins made by harmful algae, we will be better prepared for events like Florida’s red tides last year.

Using remote sensing and remote sensing applications, experts will be able to monitor conditions in the Bay. Currently, our state-of-the-art water quality buoys and real-time environmental sensor network, allow agency partners and local citizens to have access to data and participate in the design of bringing back our Biscayne Bay.

Biscayne Bay Expertise

  • Water Quality Monitoring

    Historically Henry Briceno has concentrated on water quality across South Florida including the Everglades, Biscayne Bay, Tampa Bay and the Florida Keys. He is working to understand what our water quality will be like in the future if we continue on the current path of climate change. Over the last 15 years, he’s classified the Florida coastal waters into 42 groups of water quality types.

    He uses this information to work with policy makers and alert members of the community to current and future water supply threats. He is collaborating to help implement research based policies.

  • Research Buoys

    Our Center for Aquatic Chemistry and Environment (CAChE) uses cutting-edge technology through research buoys – specially designed to be deployed in both shallow freshwater ecosystems and near-shore marine environments. Each buoy features an array of high-tech sensors used to collect data on general water quality for analysis.

    In response to the ongoing red tide outbreak, our team has deployed three buoys across South Florida which monitor water quality through regular measurements. At the same time, the buoys record directional flow rates to get a sense of where potential outbreaks may be coming from and where they may be headed as frequently as every five minutes. All data collected is updated online every hour and is available for public viewing.

  • Seagrass Health

    Led by international Blue Carbon expert, James Fourqurean, the FIU Seagrass Ecosystems Research Lab works with Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserve (BBAP) on their newly established seagrass monitoring program for portions of Biscayne Bay. The monitoring program was developed to understand the current status and condition of seagrass and macroalgae communities within the Bay, which has recently experienced die-offs.

    Dr. Bryan Dewsbury, who earned his PhD working in the FIU Seagrass Ecosystems Research Lab, completed portions of his dissertation research in Biscayne Bay. His research focused on the development of a predictive model to explain the effect of changing water quality (nutrients and salinity) on seagrass and macroalgae communities within the Bay.

    Future work with BBAP to experimentally test causes of seagrass die-off, which will help to better inform management and restoration efforts in the Bay.

  • Coastal Wetland Ecosystem

    Dr. Tiffany Troxler has focused her research on coastal wetland ecosystem dynamics and global environmental change. She has monitored the water quality of waterways with mixed urban and natural influences to understand the role of the land based sources of nutrients to the overall health of Biscayne Bay. She uses her findings to work with stakeholders to develop solutions that aid in solving current-day flooding issues.

    Troxler sits on the Miami-Dade County’s  Biscayne Bay Task Force where she works with the County to implement policies to address environmental issues in the Bay.

  • Bottlenose Dolphins

    Dr. Jeremy Kiszka and other scientists are examining the lives of the Bay’s resident dolphins. Little is known about how local bottlenose dolphins are affected by development, dredging, storm pump rerouting, seagrass die-offs and extreme climatic events. Researchers have partnered with NOAA’s Southeast Fisheries Science Center to investigate how dolphins respond to disturbances and environmental changes.

    By assessing where dolphins and their prey are found in the Bay and how they behave relative to environmental factors, we’re working to improve our understanding of these dolphins’ resilience in the face of habitat degradation.

Biscayne Bay Summit

On September 20, 2019, over 100 people will come together at Biscayne Bay Campus for the second biannual Biscayne Bay Health Summit: The Action Summit.

The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the current water quality conditions of the Bay and the sources of the problems. Experts hope to find realistic policy recommendations for the Miami-Dade County Biscayne Bay Task Force.

Be a part of the change