By Alex Harris, Miami Herald
Unlike some spots in the state, the oysters found in Biscayne Bay aren’t good for eating — they’re typically too scarce, too small and too tainted with pollution to be safe.
But for researchers at Florida International University, the shellfish that grow in the briny bay also can serve an important and counter-intuitive purpose. They’re actually indicators of the safety of fresh drinking water pumped from Miami-Dade’s wells into household taps.
A newly published FIU study of oysters in three coastal Florida areas — Miami-Dade, Tampa and Naples — found they were contaminated with potentially harmful chemicals known as PFAS, short for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances. And Biscayne Bay’s shellfish had, by far, the highest levels of what are also known as “forever chemicals.”