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Management Issues at Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserves - Coastal Construction and Habitat Loss Quick Links

The uplands surrounding Biscayne Bay have changed dramatically in the past century. Natural tributaries were channelized and additional canals were dug to drain the Everglades, resulting in pulsed-point sources of freshwater. Two inlets created through barrier islands on Miami Beach changed the natural circulation patterns in northern Biscayne Bay and there are now compartments or basins separated by causeways in the northern part of Biscayne Bay. Wetlands were filled and shorelines bulkheaded so that business and residences could be constructed. Raw sewage emptied into the bay for a period of time until diverted to a sewage treatment plant in the early 1950s. Dredging operations that created causeways and spoil islands deepened parts of the bay, resulting in loss of natural benthic communities and increased the amount of turbidity. Despite this, the bay has rebounded in many ways and considered highly productive, with both dense and patchy seagrass communities as well as hardbottom and soft bottom communities.

Construction on the shoreline

Coastal construction projects can pose a risk to water quality and natural communities in Biscayne Bay.


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Last updated: June 27, 2014

  3900 Commonwealth Boulevard M.S. 235 Tallahassee, Florida 32399 850-245-2094
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