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Historic Shoreline Database

The 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. The main focus of the database is on mean high water (MHW) locations from field profile surveys provided by department field crews and by individual projects all over 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.



Profile Survey Data

Beach profile data from which MHW data have been extracted and added into the MHW tables. Survey data is a text file formatted in standard DEP format (see pformat.txt). Earlier copies exist in the State Plane 1983/90 and 1927/79 horizontal datums, and NGVD 1929 and NAVD 1990 vertical datums. New data are being added only in the more recent datums. The offshore portions of the profiles from wading depth seaward have generally not been checked specifically by quality control engineers. For more information, please e-mail Libbie McDearmid or call 850-245-7539.

Mean High Water (MHW) Files

Distances from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) monuments to the mean high water over time in a formatted text file. MHW positions have been and continue to be extracted from DEP beach profile surveys and added to the tables. Earlier copies exist in the State Plane 1983/90 and 1927/79 horizontal datums, and NGVD 1929 and NAVD 1990 vertical datums. New data are being added only in the more recent datums. For more information, please email Libbie McDearmid or call 850-245-7539.
GIS Database This DEP Geospatial Open Database home page provides an easily searched portal for all the department's GIS datasets. Multiple formats are available for download. For more information, please email Jorge Lagos or call 850-245-8629.

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 our C.O.A.S.T.S. Search Page. For more information, please email Jorge Lagos or call 850-245-8629.

Distance Versus Time (Stacks)

Plots by monument range also known as "stack" plots because up to 8 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. For more information, please email Tim Besse or call 850-245-7559.


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. For more information, please email Tim Besse or call 850-245-7559.
Plan Views Plan View drawings are in AutoCad DWG format. The drawings compare shoreline changes for multiple years from a plan view perspective. For more information, please email Tim Besse or call 850-245-7559.

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 Beaches and Coastal Systems (BCS) Surveyors  and private company land surveyors which the data has been reviewed for quality control by one the Beaches 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 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.

Note: 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.
Contact information for Beach Field Services' staff members can be found on our Staff Contacts page.
Last Modified:
March 6, 2019 - 11:24am

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