Water Warrior

When Dana Tricarico arrived in Miami to obtain her Master’s in Professional Science at UM’s RSMAS on Virginia Key, she never could have imagined it would lead her to where she is today.
Text by Anja Maltav | December 28, 2018 | Lifestyle

The intersection of science and education really ignited a spark in Dana Tricarico when a professional opportunity opened up at Miami Waterkeeper, where she currently serves as Outreach Coordinator. “Water is integral to South Florida’s health, economy and culture — yet our water resources face a range of increasing threats including pollution, marine ecosystem degradation and sea level rise,” she says. “While these challenges are complicated and daunting, everyone can play a part in finding solutions.” Case in point: Just a few years ago, the Port of Miami was deepened and widened to accommodate larger ships. “This expansion project resulted in more than 250 acres of coral reefs being smothered in fine dredging sediment…and Port Everglades is next one the list for expansion,” says Tricarico. That’s why Miami Waterkeepers held their inaugural “BioBlitz” citizen science SCUBA event this summer to help catalog which federally protected corals were in the proposed project area. Currently, Miami Waterkeeper is kicking off its “1,000 Eyes On The Water” program in a big way. “We aim to increase citizen engagement through watching out for our waterways and responding to pollution,” she says. “We’re hoping to reach 500 community members who, after participating in one of our free trainings, will be our eyes and ears on the water, looking out for pollution and hazardous situations and reporting it back to us so we can respond quickly before the situation gets worse!” In the end, it’s all about the community coming together for the greater good. “Whether we are from different countries, states, cultures, backgrounds or even career trajectories, we all have one thing in common: Our water!”;