For Immediate Release

February 22, 2021

Office of Speaker Pro Tempore Bryan Avila Contact:

Carolina Castillo

305.805.5127

Carolina.Castillo@myfloridahouse.gov

Office of Senator Ileana Garcia Contact:

Kim Bertron

850.487.5037

bertron.kim@flsenate.gov

Speaker Pro Tempore Bryan Avila and Senator Ileana Garcia Introduce Bill to Protect the Biscayne Bay from Environmental Decline

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (February 22nd, 2021) – Today Rep. Bryan Avila, Speaker pro tempore (R-Miami), and Senator Ileana Garcia (R-Miami) filed HB 1177 and SB 1482, respectively, to create a new commission that will rescue the Biscayne Bay from continued environmental decline.

“Last August, my community was horrified to see thousands of fish and marine life turn up dead in Biscayne Bay. This fish kill was just another chapter in its recent history of environmental decline,” said Rep. Avila. “The establishment of a Biscayne Bay Commission is a giant step toward recovery. I am committed to protecting Florida’s environment and I am proud to file HB 1177 to protect our beautiful Biscayne Bay.”

“When I was sworn in to the Florida Senate last November, I made a promise to my constituents to be a champion for our precious and unique environment. I want to see the beautiful Biscayne Bay protected and preserved for generations to come,” said Senator Garcia. “In order to achieve this, we must be united and strategic as we take these critical steps towards recovery. The formation of the Biscayne Bay Commission, through SB 1482, will make certain our approach is both responsible and effective as we work to rescue the Bay and ensure its resiliency.”

The legislation establishes the Biscayne Bay Commission, which will:

  • Coordinate all public policy and projects related to the Biscayne Bay;

  • Unite all governmental agencies, businesses, and residents in the area to speak with one voice on bay issues; and

  • Act as the principal advocate and watchdog to ensure that Bay projects are funded and implemented in a timely manner.

The proposal also prohibits sewage disposal facilities from disposing any waste into the Biscayne Bay.

The commission would be made up of three members of the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners, three members of the Miami-Dade County League of Cities, one member of the South Florida Water Management District Governing Board, one representative from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, one representative from the Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, one representative from the Florida Inland Navigation District, and one representative from the U.S. Department of the Interior.

The Florida Legislative Session begins March 2, 2021. For more information on HB 1177 and SB 1482 visit www.myfloridahouse.gov and www.flsenate.gov.

Originally produced by the Florida Senate Read More

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