Overview - Beach and Water Quality

 

Beach Cleaning

The Village's beach maintenance contractor works daily to remove seaweed and otherwise clean the Village beach.

 

Beach Water Quality: Bacterial Monitoring

The Florida Department of Health (FDOH) Miami-Dade performs routine weekly sample collection for bacterial monitoring (Enterococus) at four locations along the Key Biscayne Atlantic Beach. Results are available here. The locations are Key Biscayne Beach (Beach Club), Crandon Park North, Crandon Park South and Cape Florida Park.

 

Red Tide Monitoring

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) website added an interactive daily sample map as of October 4, 2018. The status of red tide water sampling is updated on a daily basis at 5:00 p.m; the map contains the last eight days of sampling. Click on individual dots in the map for sampling details at each location. An explanation of the results is given in the table below.

 

NOTE: Sampling is no longer taking place in Key Biscayne as of the week of November 12th. The closest sampling location on November 13 was at Darwin Beach south of the Bear Cut Bridge in Virginia Key. Test results posted on November 16 showed red tide algae was not present or at background levels (0-1,000 Karenia brevis cells per liter of seawater). This is the lone remaining sampling site in Miami-Dade County.

 

Previous sampling locations in Key Biscayne were at Crandon Park (nearshore and 1.5 mile offshore) and south of Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park in the Safety Valve area (between Key Biscayne and the Upper Keys).

 

Additional information is available at the FWC Red Tide Current Status webpage.

 

 

 

Description

Karenia breviscells/liter

Possible Effects (K. brevis only)

 

NOT PRESENT - BACKGROUND

background levels of 1,000 cells or less

None anticipated

 

VERY LOW

>1,000 to 10,000

Possible respiratory irritation; shellfish harvesting closures > 5,000 cells/L

 

LOW

>10,000 to 100,000

Respiratory irritation, possible fish kills and bloom chlorophyll probably detected by satellites at upper limits

 

MEDIUM

>100,000 to 1,000,000

Respiratory irritation and probable fish kills

 

HIGH

>1,000,000

As above plus discoloration

 

 

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The beach is an integral part of life in Key Biscayne. The Village maintains the beach with routine daily raking and grading. Additional cleaning activities have been added to deal with excessive seasonal seaweed (Sargassum) accumulations in recent months.

 

Saltwater quality is checked weekly at four Key Biscayne Atlantic beach locations by the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) as part of their Healthy Beaches Program. Supplemental testing was implemented in September 2018 at three locations (two Atlantic beach, one Biscayne Bay); this effort is a partnership of the Key Biscayne Community Foundation, Miami Waterkeeper and the Village.

 

Small to moderate amounts of Karenia brevis, a naturally occurring marine alga that causes most red tides, were observed in Palm Beach County waters by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) in late September 2018. Precautionary testing is underway in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. Results are available at the links below. 

 

Follow the links below to more information on these topics.


  • Seaweed Information and Beach Maintenance
  • Beach Water Quality
    • Red Tide (K. brevis) Monitoring
      • Update 11/13/18: Sampling is no longer taking place in Key Biscayne as of the week of November 12th. The closest sampling location on November 13 was at Darwin Beach south of the Bear Cut Bridge in Virginia Key. Test results posted on November 16 showed red tide algae was not present or at background levels (0-1,000 Karenia brevis cells per liter of seawater). This is the lone remaining sampling site in Miami-Dade County.

      •  

        Update 10/11/18: Sampling locations in Key Biscayne are at Crandon Park (nearshore and 1.5 mile offshore) and south of Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park in the Safety Valve area (between Key Biscayne and the Upper Keys).

      • Update 10/4/18: Village officials participated in a conference call at 2:15 pm with officials from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWCC), Miami-Dade County Department of Environmental Resources Management (DERM), Miami-Dade County Office of Emergency Management (OEM), Florida Department of Health Miami-Dade (FDOH-MDC) and local municipalities. Our objective is to prepare, but not scare, people by providing information about red tide. We are monitoring the sampling, led by DERM, and analyses led by FWC. Residents should be aware of possible respiratory effects that are associated with red tide. Higher levels of red tide, called blooms, could result in fish kills. If you see dead fish on the Village beach, call (305) 365 5555 as soon as possible. 
      • Breaking News 10/4/18: Miami-Dade County and Mayor Gimenez tweeted red tide test results. Results for Haulover Park in North Dade were moderate; Haulover and beaches to north were closed as a precaution. The Mayor reported that samples off Key Biscayne and Miami Beach show very low to low presence of red tide; see Memorandum here (PDF). We are waiting for official statements from the authorities, including the Department of Health in Miami-Dade County (Environmental Health), Miami-Dade Environmental Resources Management (DERM) and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWCC).
      • External Link: FWC Red Tide Status web page
      • External Link: FDOH Aquatic Toxins-Red Tide web page
      • External Link: Mote Marine Laboratory Daily Beach Conditions website


"To provide a safe, quality environment for all islanders through responsible government."

 

© 2013 Village of Key Biscayne   |   88 West McIntyre Street   |   Key Biscayne, FL   |   33149   |   (305) 365-5511   |   feedback@keybiscayne.fl.gov

 

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