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Ecosystem Protection

Miami-Dade County is internationally recognized for its beaches. Sensitive ecosystems, including coral reefs, Biscayne Bay, coastal wetlands, Everglades marshes, hardwood hammocks and globally imperiled pine forests are so unique that two National Parks, a National Marine Sanctuary, Florida aquatic preserves and water conservation areas have been established within Miami-Dade, a circumstance that occurs nowhere else in the United States.

These natural resources support productive fisheries and wildlife habitat, recreation and tourism. Natural areas also help reduce erosion, reduce flooding and contribute to clean air and water.  

Miami-Dade County works to protect, maintain and enhance these treasures and the benefits they provide through strategies including regulation, monitoring, habitat restoration and environmentally endangered lands acquisition and management.

Beach Renourishment

Restored beaches and dune systems provide storm protection and recreational benefits. Miami-Dade works with federal and state partners to periodically renourish vulnerable parts of the beach.

Coastal Areas

Coastal areas provide erosion and storm surge protection for urban and natural areas, while providing high quality habitat for many rare and endangered plants and animals. Permits are required for construction work, dredging or filling on coastal areas.

Environmentally Endangered Lands

The Environmentally Endangered Lands Program consists of the acquisition, protection and maintenance of sensitive Miami-Dade County lands. Residents can volunteer to keep these lands in pristine condition.

Manatees

The Florida manatee is a native species found throughout all parts of the state. Protections for Florida manatees were first enacted in 1893. Today, they are protected by the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act, and are federally protected by both the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act.

Mangroves

A mangrove wetland can be one of the most productive ecosystems in world given two factors, the right movement of water allowing suspended material to move in and out of the wetland and freshwater runoff.

Reefs

Miami-Dade County protects coral reefs through monitoring and permitting programs.

The Miami-Dade Artificial Reef Program helps offset damage to natural reefs and provides opportunities for fishing and diving. Use the Artificial Reef Locator to learn about sites to visit in Biscayne Bay and offshore, or volunteer to adopt a mooring buoy.

Trees & Forest Communities

Trees and natural forests play a big part in increasing our environment's quality. Therefore, a permit is required for the approved removal or relocation of any tree within Miami-Dade County (certain exceptions apply), and any activity that results in the removal or damage to any vegetation in a Natural Forest Community also requires a permit.

Wetlands

Wetlands contribute to water quality by removing excess nutrients and pollutants that originated in the uplands before they reach the estuary. Wetlands also offer important habitat for a wide variety of organisms that rely on the area as a nursery ground, and provide protection against coastal erosion.

Back to Top Page Last Edited: Thu Dec 12, 2013 1:57:53 PM
environment

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The Miami-Dade County Cooperative Extension offers a broad range of services for residents, such as environmental programs, consumer services, workforce development, agriculture production and more.

 
 
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