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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – A commission made up of local, state and federal officials would oversee efforts to stave off the environmental decline of Biscayne Bay, under a legislative proposal filed Monday.

The proposal (HB 1177 and SB 1482), filed by Rep. Bryan Avila, R-Miami Springs, and Sen. Ileana Garcia, R-Miami, also would prohibit sewage disposal facilities from dumping waste into the bay.

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Avila said the final impetus for the commission was a massive fish kill in the bay in August.

“This fish kill was just another chapter in its recent history of environmental decline,” Avila said in a news release. “The establishment of a Biscayne Bay Commission is a giant step toward recovery.”

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Scientists have warned for decades the bay is in poor health, and the kill was attributed in part to extremely low levels of dissolved oxygen in areas between North Miami and Virginia Key.

Garcia added in the news release the recovery requires the community to be “united and strategic.”

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

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