Florida’s coasts attract tourists year-round, and understanding the many threats to water quality, the Miami Surfrider Chapter has officially launched a BWTF program to provide beachgoers with information about currently water quality conditions because nobody deserves to get sick at the beach. The Miami Blue Water Task Force program was set up to augment the Florida Healthy Beaches Program, which samples 6 locations within Miami Dade County. Since the FLHBP samples in the beginning of the week, the Miami Blue Water Task Force samples towards the end of the week, to provide more up-to-date information for beachgoers so they know where it's safe to swim, surf, and play in the water.
Waters are tested for enterococcus, a fecal coliform bacteria that is plentiful in the guts of warm-blooded animals. When enterococcus is found present in a water sample, it indicates there may be other harmful pathogens in the water that could make people sick. Learn more about why we test for enterococcus here.
The Miami BWTF Lab is set up within F1rst Surf Shop, with Surfrider volunteers collecting and processing water samples. All water quality results will be posted online on the Blue Water Task Force Website, and also sent out in Water Quality Alert Emails. Results are shared with the local community, and you can sign up to receive these weekly water quality notifications from Surfrider Miami!
Results are live on Miami's Surfline.com reports, on their very own Alexa App, and Surfrider Miami has also partnered with Ballyhoo Media to display water quality results on their floating platform at local beaches, which reaches about 10,000-15,000 beach goers an hour. Lastly, Surfrider Miami is an affilitate of the Swimguide, who hosts this vital water quality information on their mobile app.
Surfrider Miami is seeking volunteers to join their BWTF team, to spread the workload of this citizen science project. Team members are needed to: collect beach water samples; process water samples in our SoBe BWTF lab; distribute weekly test results via social media, newsletters and podcasts. To join the BWTF team, contact the lab director Scott Stripling: email@example.com
To all Miami Blue Water Task Force Samplers, the Miami Chapter has created a number of relevant local resources for you:
Information about Harmful Algal Blooms: