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Public Use Programs at Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserves

The goal for public access management in Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserves (BBAP) is to promote and manage public use of the aquatic preserve that supports the protection of the resources of the preserves.

Public Access

BBAP staff served on the Biscayne Bay Public Access Plan Advisory Plan in 2005 which produced "Get Your Feet Wet: The Public Access Plan for Biscayne Bay." The plan explored non-conventional access to the bay, such as providing visual access at street ends that lead to the bay.

Disability Access

BBAP staff work in cooperation with Nature Links to provide educational field day activities to students with developmental delays or disabilities.

Boating/Mooring

The high number of boaters presents a threat to the submerged resources of Biscayne Bay. Mooring fields help guard against that threat by giving boaters a safe place to anchor their boats instead of inadvertently damaging coral reefs or seagrass beds with anchors. BBAP staff provide guidance for the development of additional mooring fields to accommodate the high number of boaters.

Consumptive Use

The predominant consumptive use within BBAP comes from recreational fishing and boating, commercial fishing, lobstering, shrimping and crabbing. BBAP staff provide educational materials to marine officers for use when issuing boating violation citations or warnings. These materials help increase public awareness of local speed zones and natural resources such as seagrass beds and manatees. 

Non-Consumptive Use

BBAP staff helped develop the Biscayne Bay section of the Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail. While the circumnavigational trail is designed for multi-day trips, day trips are being defined for residents and visitors. The county is looking for trails in the tributaries as well as the bay, and the city is working to create access points at Morningside Park and Margaret Pace Park. One of the goals of the Trust of Public Land Access Plan was to create water trails for non-motorized boats. Access points for canoes have been created at the Deering Estate and the mouth of C-100. More recently, BBAP partnered with Biscayne Bay Waterkeeper Inc. through funding made available from National Geographic Education to develop a paddling access guide to Biscayne Bay.

Interpretation

BBAP staff have posted signs at local boat ramps and marinas to educate the public on seagrasses and their coverage throughout the bay as well as the boundaries of the preserves. Staff are also finding local partners to help provide signs that provide information about cultural and natural resources in BBAP.

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Last Modified:
April 11, 2018 - 1:24pm

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