Fish Kills

The fish kill that occurred in Biscayne Bay during August 2020 resulted from a combination of multiple physical and environmental factors, including extremely low tides, low wind velocities, poor circulation in the northern basin, high ambient air/water temperatures, and large stormwater discharges from the drainage canal system due to a significant rain event in late May 2019. This portion of the Bay is vulnerable to nutrient pollution from the watershed and has experienced significant seagrass loss over the past 8 to 10 years. 

Miami-Dade County is ready to respond to a fish kill or algae bloom event. The Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources – Division of Environmental Resources Management (RER-DERM) will serve as the lead agency in the event of an environmental crisis, such as a fish kill or algae bloom event.

The County has secured the services of certified canal cleaning contractors who remain ready to remove and properly dispose of the fish biomass from the affected areas. The biomass must be removed as soon as possible as decomposition can exacerbate the existing poor water quality conditions and release additional nutrients and bacteria into Biscayne Bay. Biomass consolidation and removal locations will be identified and coordinated with affected coastal municipalities.

The public is encouraged to keep a watchful eye on Biscayne Bay and report any signs of fish or wildlife in distress, algae blooms and water turbidity.