Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserves (BBAP) staff obtain access to data through established partnerships
with agencies that collect and/or fund water quality monitoring programs within Biscayne Bay. Miami-Dade
County Department of Environmental Regulation (DERM) provides water quality and epibenthic data, based
on its own monitoring stations throughout Biscayne Bay upon request. DERM's 105 stations are visited
during the first week of each month. Twenty-four parameters are measured on site or through laboratory
analysis of grab samples collected. Most analyses are performed on samples taken at one meter's depth,
but some samples are duplicated at the surface and bottom of the station This long-term monitoring
effort, which began in 1979, provides a substantial period of record that serves as a baseline to
evaluate estuarine restoration.
There are numerous agencies that monitor water quality in the bay, from the Rickenbacker Causeway,
south to Card Sound, focusing on CERP restoration, but research does not spatially represent Biscayne
Bay. Almost no research is conducted in the northern basins of BBAP and several northern Biscayne Bay
sites have been dropped from DERM's program. There is also a need to have additional sites closer to
shore to better characterize the effects Miami Beach storm drains have on BBAP water quality. Currently
all storm drains providing flood relief in the City of Miami Beach drain directly into Biscayne Bay.
Some storm drains pass through the storm drains. City environmental staff has undertaken a "Drains to
Biscayne Bay" campaign where small plaques will be applied to cement street surfaces to remind citizens
to be responsible about trash, as all drains lead to Biscayne Bay.
BBAP hopes to secure funding in the future to hire an additional staff scientist to work as an
interagency research coordinator and to initiate and manage BBAP's own water quality monitoring
program. Future monitoring project possibilities include the deployment of multiple dataloggers as
part of CAMA's water quality monitoring program in order to be able to collect and record data at
predetermined settings depending on objectives. At least one additional BBAP staff member is needed
to deploy and retrieve the datalogger, as well as analyze data. The advantage of data collected by
dataloggers is that it is continuous, taken at 15 minute or greater intervals, and that it can
often collect parameters during weather events when grab sampling may not be an option.
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