Provided by Google Translate
Provided by Google Translate

Ports and Community Grants—South Florida

Written by Cyan Simmons

Cyan Simmons headshot
Cyan Simmons – Port Community Liaison South Florida

Hello. Hola. Bonjour.

My name is Cyan Simmons, and I am your South Florida Ports Community Liaison, based in the magic city of Miami. Although I’m a newer resident to the area, I have always had a deep commitment to marine conservation as well as to environmental justice for communities most affected by inequalities and injustice—those where environmental damages are most dire but resources for solutions are limited or nonexistent. I work for Ocean Conservancy, which advocates a healthy global ocean and ocean justice for all communities.

At Ocean Conservancy we are addressing the reality of climate-change impacts and striving for environmental justice by leveraging resources to provide access for unserved or underserved communities, especially Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC) communities. A focus of Ocean Conservancy’s justice and equity effort is to foster goodwill and amplify the voices of those already working on solutions in their communities through Ports Community Grants in four United States coastal regions most affected by climate change.

Ocean Conservancy’s Ports Community Grants program is open to BIPOC-led and BIPOC-serving community organizations in the South Florida region. It is designed to provide high-access, low-barrier funding for those who are advocating a better environment for themselves, their communities and future generations. These grants are just one step towards building support for the marginalized communities that bear the burden of climate change and empowering locally led environmental-justice efforts.

Despite pushback from activists, leaders and experts who anticipate that the south Florida waters will rise six inches in the next 10 years, developers continue to build skyscrapers along the coast with little regard for the impact on inland communities. BIPOC neighborhoods, generally the center of the community and the home of the city’s cultural diversity with historic ties to the city, tend to suffer the most from the environmental impacts of continuous development. The environmental-justice concerns in Miami are not just related to sea-level rise and manatee protection, but flooding, intense heat and pollution (from air quality and littering) are also pressing concerns. These factors have significant relevance to the wellbeing and survival of the people and cultures that built the city.

Local grassroot organizations are doing great work to bring awareness to these issues. It is Ocean Conservancy’s hope that this round of our Ports Community Grants will provide an opportunity to amplify these organizations and their work. For those who are concerned with environmental issues in Miami that hit close to home and are working on solutions for their communities, these grants are for you. I encourage you to apply and am excited to help you with the grantmaking process.

Back to Top Up Arrow