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Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserves Water Quality Monitoring Programs Quick Links

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.

View of Miami from the 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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Last updated: June 27, 2014

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