When visualizing the ideal Miami Beach scenery, people immediately think of warm weather, beautiful skies, and crystal clear waters. This image is one of many reasons why Miami Beach is such a highly visited area. We welcome approximately 6 million overnight tourists on an annual basis and have about 90,000 residents. This means that maintaining our beaches and waterways in pristine conditions is our priority. After all, they provide habitat, a great quality of life, and opportunities for tourism.
To ensure that water quality standards are met, the City of Miami Beach applies a multi-facetted strategy. One of the most important components is the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program, which was established under the 1972 Clean Water Act to address storm water pollution. Through this program, Miami Beach and other municipalities across the United States are required to minimize pollution from point sources, like stormwater outfalls, and non-point sources, like construction sites, by developing a comprehensive storm water management program.
The city’s stormwater management program strives to exceed these requirements through public education, regular stormwater system maintenance, and other best management practices. Additionally, the city has retained a waterway contractor to maintain our waterways free from trash. The contractor services the city three times a week.
Another method the city is prioritizing water quality is through collaboration with outside agencies. The Florida Department of Health and Miami-Dade County conduct periodic water sampling events throughout Miami Beach including our very well-known dog beach. The sampling reports provide an insight on the current bacterial conditions of our waterways and allow us to track water quality over time.
These efforts in conjunction with mindful practices from businesses, residents, and visitors allow our city to continue to thrive in an environment that is not just beautiful but also healthy.