MIAMI – Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserves staff joined the Mayor of North Bay Village Connie Leon-Kreps, North Bay Village Commissioners and area residents, to discuss the importance of seagrasses to Miami-Dade County’s ecology and economy. Mayor Leon-Kreps read the official proclamation along the aquatic preserves shoreline with several seagrass species exhibited.
“Awareness of the dangers facing seagrass, a vital natural resource, will help to create an understanding of the ways seagrass damage can impact both the economic and ecological value of our marine resources,” said Mayor Leon-Kreps.
Participants visited a seagrass restoration site by catamaran cruise, learned proper boating techniques in a shallow bay, viewed endangered Bottlenose Dolphins foraging and listened to the calls of birds roosting at a bird rookery. The highlight was the release of a rehabilitated pelican, injured from marine debris, by the Pelican Harbor Seabird Station staff.
“From residents to the city manager, the chief of police to the mayor herself, the North Bay Village community came out to celebrate Seagrass Awareness Month,” said Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserves Manager Pamela Sweeney. “For many participants, this was the first time actually seeing their city – a chain of islands – by water.”
Seagrass beds, an important economic driver, provided over $4.1 million in commercial harvest to Miami-Dade County last year. Thousands of acres of seagrass beds run throughout Biscayne Bay, comprising all seven species of seagrasses known to grow within the Caribbean.