Florida is home to countless miles of beaches and waves that attract hundreds of millions of visitors from around the globe every year to recreate in and enjoy. The Florida Healthy Beaches Program, administered by the Florida Department of Health and local county health departments, is tasked with testing beach waters for enterococci bacteria and promptly notifying the public when elevated bacteria levels are present. Unfortunately, in practice and implementation, Florida's beach water monitoring and public notification varies on a county by county basis, leaving beachgoers vulnerable to getting sick at the beach, or worse, from recreating in Florida's ocean waters.
SB338 / HB165 Safe Waterways Act, bipartisan legislation introduced in the Florida Senate by Senator Lori Berman (D-Boynton Beach) and Senator Ana Maria Rodriguez (R-Doral) and the Florida House of Representatives by Representative Peggy Gossett-Seidman (R-Boca Raton), aims to further protect public health and ensure consistency in beach water quality monitoring and notification by:
Surfrider's Florida network is working alongside water quality advocates throughout the state to advance this legislation to protect the public health, safety, and welfare of beachgoers in Florida.