By Joan Murray

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – First came the flooding, then the pollution as rain pelted Miami Thursday. Piles of dirt and sand from Miami Florida Department of Transportation project slid into already troubled Biscayne Bay.

It caught the attention of more than a few residents who began posting videos on social media.

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“They have been taking pictures from their balconies where you see it entering the bay and the river. It’s bad and they are asking what are you gonna do about it?” said Miami City Commissioner Ken Russell.

Russell did something about it. He called out the Department of Transportation (DOT).

“I created an ordinance to trace plumes up through the stormwater system and we saw who the guilty party was,” he said.

“Under the Clean Water Act permit, they are using, they are responsible for everything and have to do the clean up,” he says

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Cleaning up the bay has been a priority since last year’s massive fish kill when the desperate state of the bay became crystal clear.

After years of sewage, silt, and fertilizer flowing into the bay drove up nitrogen levels and depleted oxygen, killing sea life, viral and seagrass.

“It’s especially disappointing a government agency is violating the rules,” said Miami Waterkeeper Rachel Silverstein.

Silverstein, who is dedicated to fixing the bay says the silt plumes are a continuous problem.

“It’s really death by a thousand cuts for the bay,” she said.“And the result is these horrific
videos you see.”

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If you want to learn more. How to document and report pollution in the bay, go to Miamiwaterkeeper.org