Miami Waterkeeper’s mission is to defend, protect, and preserve South Florida’s watershed through citizen engagement and community action rooted in sound science and research. Through its efforts, it supports a vibrant and resilient coastal community and environment for current and future generations.
Miami Waterkeeper’s scope of work is diverse, with core issues including clean water, ecosystem protection, and resiliency. Serving a population of more than 4.5 million people across Miami-Dade and Broward counties, Miami Waterkeeper’s approach combines education, community outreach, scientific research, and legal advocacy to achieve protected marine ecosystems and habitats, sea-level- rise resiliency, and clean and safe waterways.
Miami Waterkeeper has had significant victories, including in litigation over illegal coral reef damage during the Port of Miami expansion that has already catalyzed the rescue of several hundred threatened staghorn corals adversely impacted by this project. Miami Waterkeeper is working on preventing similar damage from occurring again, as well as a number of other water quality-monitoring efforts. “Our beautiful waterways are in the backyard of one of the fastest growing cities in the nation,” says Miami Waterkeeper Rachel Silverstein, “and that brings major challenges and opportunities. It’s been a privilege to champion clean water and habitat protection initiatives in our unique watershed.”
Rachel joined the organization in June of 2014. Her passion for protecting the environment began at an early age while growing up along the Southern California coast. She got SCUBA certified at 14 and has been an avid diver ever since. She received a Ph.D. in Marine Biology from the University of Miami in 2012, focusing on the effects of climate change on reef corals. Rachel was named one of the Top 20 Environmentalists in South Florida and one of Miami’s most interesting people by the New Times, was recognized with the Diatom Award by the Mayor of Miami Beach for excellence in environmental advocacy, and was awarded the Miami Herald’s Visionary Award.