Natural resource management efforts at Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserves are in direct response to the issues of Biscayne Bay. Issues-based management is a means to allow multiple partners to become involved with an aquatic preserve in addressing an issue. The four main issues of Biscayne Bay are summarized below.
Water and Sediment Quality
Water quality has improved considerably in northern Biscayne Bay over the last 30 years, but nutrients, particulates and other pollutants from stormwater runoff and canal discharge are still a problem. The timing and amounts of freshwater discharge are also a concern.
Coastal Construction and Habitat Loss
The uplands surrounding Biscayne Bay have changed dramatically in the past century. Natural tributaries were channelized, canals were built, wetlands filled and shorelines bulkheaded. In the bay itself, 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.
Natural Resource Management
Marine debris presents a real and chronic threat to wildlife and public safety. Entanglement, ingestion and toxins are issues related to debris of various materials. The presence of debris detracts from the aesthetic value of natural landscapes. Marine debris can include paper and plastic products, construction debris, derelict vessels and derelict fisheries gear.
Public access to Biscayne Bay can be increased, become more readily obvious with better signage and available to a range of uses, but that access must be balanced against the ecological needs of Biscayne Bay.
February 2, 2023 - 9:03am
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The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.