Miami Water Officials "Devastated" by Chronic Fish Kill in Biscayne Bay

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A Miami-Dade County official is "devastated" by a chronic fish kill in a local lagoon.

Chief Bay and Water Resources Officer Loren Parra is reporting another substantial fish kill in Biscayne Bay, the fourth in as many years.

She counts about two-thousand dead fish since Saturday and blames recent heavy rains.

"When it rains a lot, freshwater flows into the bay, lowering the salinity and killing fish," according to Parra.

Biscayne Bay is a subtropical lagoon extending the length of Miami-Dade County from North Miami Beach to the upper Florida Keys.

Miami Waterkeeper Rachel Silverstein says flood water flowing into the bay in the last week is extremely contaminated with sewage.

She says the zero-oxygen fresh water literally suffocates the fish to death.

Miami-Dade County is ready to respond to the fish kill event because the dead fish must be removed immediately.

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.

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

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