Researchers set out Wednesday to survey Biscayne Bay between the 79th Street and Julia Tuttle Causeways, where dead fish were seen bobbing along the surface.
“It is an emergency. The bay is not in a good place right now,” said Piero Gardinali, a chemistry professor who is director of the institute’s Freshwater Resources Division. “It’s a warning sign more than anything else. People have been predicting that things like this could happen. I think it’s time for us to sit at the table and say ‘OK, let’s do something about it.’”
Researchers believe fish were killed when the bay’s saltwater became so hot, it could no longer retain oxygen in the amounts necessary for marine life to thrive.
They are using an autonomous surface vehicle equipped with sensors to measure temperature, dissolved oxygen, turbidity and chlorophyll, which can be an indicator for algae. What they find could provide more details on the health of the bay. The vessel allows researchers to collect more data over a larger area.