Page Banner

Historic Shoreline Database

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) Historic Shoreline Database contains many directories of related types of information about beach changes in Florida over the past 150 or so years and continues to be updated as new surveys are processed.

One of the main focuses of the database is on mean high water (MHW) locations from field profile surveys provided by department field crews and by individual projects all along the Florida coastline. (Links on this page will open in a new window.)

Historic Shoreline Data

Note: The table below describes what is contained in the database folders and provides links to these folders. All questions related to any dataset should be directed to



Profile Survey Data

Repository for beach profile data collected by DEP which has been surveyed by DEP or the private sector. Survey data contained in a .zip file with the first three characters of the file name denoting the county. Survey data is a text file formatted in standard DEP format (see pformat.txt). Horizontal datum is in Florida State Plane NAD83/90 and vertical datum of NAVD-1988. The offshore portions of the profiles from wading depth seaward have generally not been checked specifically by quality control engineers. 

Mean High Water (MHW) Files

Distances from DEP monuments to the mean high water (MHW) over time in a formatted text file. MHW positions have been and continue to be extracted from the Profile Survey Data dataset and added to the tables. MHW positions include shoreline data from historic data sources beginning in the 1800s.
GIS Database DEP's Geospatial Open Database provides an easily searched portal for all the department's GIS datasets. Multiple formats are available for download. 

Click on Profiles

Cross-section plots of beach profiles over time in click-on viewable and printable PDF format. Available by county, plot combination, range number and page.

Aerial Photos

Aerial photography and aerial videography are available through C.O.A.S.T.S. search page. 

Distance Versus Time (Stacks)

Plots by monument range also known as "stack" plots because up to eight plots are stacked onto one graph page. Pages can be connected end to end to see the pattern of MHW changes over TIME in large regions.
Historic Shoreline Maps Historic shoreline map drawings are in AutoCad DWG format. The maps range from the mid 1800s to the late 1970s or early 1980s. Copies exist in the State Plane 1983/90 horizontal datum. 


Historic bathymetry images in AutoCad DWG format. An ASCII layer list for the drawing and an ASCII data table is also found in each archived file. Copies in the State Plane 1983/90 horizontal datum are included. 
Plan Views Plan view drawings are in AutoCad DWG format. The drawings compare shoreline changes for multiple years from a plan view perspective. 

Historic Map Source Bibliography

Map bibliography for each county in the Historic Shoreline Database. Bibliography text file includes the digitized historic source map titles, dates, coordinates and scales.

Software, if needed, can be obtained at the following websites:

  •  Shareware programs such as Winzip or 7-Zip can be used to unzip files.
  •  Software that can be used to view or print AutoCAD DWG or DXF documents.
  •  Viewers can convert a pdf file to html through Adobe.

More About Beaches Data

The beach profile data provided on this site is survey data collected by the Beach Survey Services (BSS) surveyors or private company land surveyors for which the data has been reviewed for quality control by one of the Beach's Programs' staff. It is noted that a history of monument control information is not available on this site at this time. A large portion of the survey monuments have been moved over time as a result of changed conditions such as erosion or building construction. This is clearly indicated in the control headings in the individual profile data files.

The reviewed version of the beach profile data is provided at the link above. A standardized horizontal and vertical reference system is employed to maintain consistency and commonality of the data for analytical purposes. This data set will generally be the version that coastal engineers and scientists performing coastal analyses use. It should be noted that there may be profile data that is not yet available in the Historic Shoreline Data set due to time lags in the review process.

All data should be collected and submitted in accordance with the department's Physical Monitoring Standards

Disclaimer of Data

The survey data relative to any coastal construction control line (CCCL) legal description and map of record is for information purposes only. Official information must be obtained from the record plat filed in the office of the clerk of circuit court for the appropriate county.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection shall not be held liable for any use thereof of any aerial photo maps, beach and offshore profiles, historical shoreline data, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or other files contained herein or any computer software such as storm tide and dune erosion numerical models provided, accumulated, maintained or otherwise produced by the department.

The use of any original material forthcoming from the department in any reports or publications shall be given appropriately cited credit. This includes the citation of any pertinent department documentation or reports that may have a bearing on the use of such data.

More Information

For more understanding, the Historic Shoreline Information document provides a brief explanation of some of the Historical Shoreline Database datasets.

Additional technical information can be found on Beach Survey Services.

Last Modified:
July 14, 2023 - 10:15am

Some content on this site is saved in an alternative format. The following icons link to free Reader/Viewer software:
PDF: | Word: | Excel: