Assessment of local and regional strategies to control bacteria levels at beaches with consideration of impacts from climate change

Henry Barreras, Elizabeth A. Kelly, Naresh Kumar, Helena M Solo-Gabriele

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to evaluate relationships between local factors (beach geomorphology and management) and regional factors (infrastructure improvements and temperature changes) against levels of fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) at recreational beaches. Data were evaluated for 17 beaches located in Monroe County, Florida (Florida Keys), USA, including an assessment of sanitary infrastructure improvements using equivalent dwelling unit (EDU) connections. Results show that elevated FIB levels were associated with beach geomorphologies characterized by impeded flow and by beaches with lax management policies. The decrease in EDUs not connected coincided with a decrease in the fraction of days when bacteria levels were out of compliance. Multivariate factor analysis also identified beach management practices (presence of homeless and concession stands) as being associated with elevated FIB. Overall, results suggest that communities can utilize beach management strategies and infrastructure improvements to overcome the negative water quality impacts anticipated with climate change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-259
Number of pages11
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019



  • Beach
  • Climate change
  • Fecal indicator bacteria
  • Infrastructure
  • Temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Pollution

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