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Scientists and ‘Mermaid’ want to save Biscayne Bay in Miami

Miami, Jul 28 (EFE News). Biscayne Bay, an ecological treasure located in Miami-Dade County (Florida), is in grave danger due to the pollution of its waters, surrounded by threats that scientists and filmmakers in Miami are now alerting to. population and authorities. Raising awareness of danger is the end of the winning videos for a competition highlighting the wonders of this marine environment with the participation of two scientists and the “mermaid” who lives in the bay. This is the Save the Bay initiative, a 60-second video public service announcement competition that won five filmmakers who contributed their artistic vision to “save” the Bay of Biscay. Today the five video clips awarded in the competition organized by the Oolite Arts Center with the support of the county authorities were shown in the presence of the filmmakers who were deeply involved in the defense and protection of this beautiful 56-kilometre bay. Show 13 is ideal for water sports. “Our lives are deeply intertwined with the Gulf: we are one and the same,” Miami-based Iranian-American director and scientist Shirin Rahimi told Efe. Rahmi video, “What Happened to the Gulf?” , suggests an “emotional and physical connection to the Biscayne Bay ecosystem and the role it plays in the story of our lives,” the diver and photographer also adds. Degree in Environmental Science from the University of Miami (UM). She asserts that filming was a “labour of love,” an experience that marked the beauty of the bay and all the people who helped make it happen: from the expert drone photographer to the pier owner from where she jumped into the water to shoot an underwater movie. Unique natural environment damaged by pollution The shaded part is the state of this highly diverse and abundant ecosystem of coral reefs, seagrass and mangroves with over 120 different animal species at risk. “The bay is suffering,” he says. “The seaweed is dying and very few animals are left,” a situation that could be reversed, “if we stop polluting it with fertilizers and pesticides, facilities on the coast or the impact of cruise ships.” Alarms went off in August 2020, when hundreds of barracudas, eels, oysters and all kinds of fish were found floating southeast of the bay, followed by an algal bloom. Scientists and experts from the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) concluded that these deaths were the result of low oxygen levels due to an overload of nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorous), coming from septic tanks, and overheating. Gulf waters, among other factors. In the opinion of Piero Gardinelli, director of the Environmental Institute at Miami International University (FIU), factors such as “rapid urbanization, pollution, rising temperatures, water management, rising sea levels and loss of important habitats affect the water purchase.” This unique natural environment, he would blunt: “There is no Miami without Biscayne Bay,” because “the livelihoods of South Florida are linked to the health of coastal ecosystems.” But despite the pollution, its rich biodiversity allows for the presence of the black “mermaid,” as shown in the video of Dominican-American director Helen Peña, another winner of the competition. The black mermaid emerging from the ocean floor “to wake up” in a story with poetic text alerting us to the urgent need to “protect our magic, protect life, protect the bay.” “The Bay of Vizcaya represents to me the sacred life, a place once inhabited by the Teixa tribe and, at the same time, a microcosm of the kind of climate catastrophe that is happening all over the world,” he emphasized to Yves Peña. Time to Act Now in a Video Message, by Alexa Caravia, a retired marine biologist who tells her unborn grandson of the sad decline of the privileged ecosystem that everyone must take care of. A “declaration of love” for the Gulf is also a “call to action” as the audience “reflects their responsibility to the Gulf by recognizing our impact on a vibrant and complex ecosystem,” says Caravia, producer, director and director of the filming. For this documentary work, Caravia immersed herself in the Wolfson Archives at Miami-Dade College (MDC), where she discovered that for decades “there have been signals and warnings that have been ignored.” “My fear is that if we don’t act now, we will soon find ourselves at the point of no return having done irreversible damage to a natural environment that makes life in Miami so magical,” he said. According to environmental science website Mongabay, seagrass has decreased by up to 90% in some areas of the Bay of Biscay and has completely disappeared in others. A serious problem, if we consider that seaweed is essential as a habitat and food for many fish and mollusks, in addition to extracting nitrogen and phosphorous from the water and releasing oxygen. That is why, as Gardinelli insists on Efe, “The time for action is now. What is happening in the bay is a cry for help, a call for attention and action,” in order to continue the celebration of the wonder that is the Bay of Biscay. (c) EFE . Agency

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