Swim Guide is built and powered by Waterkeepers to connect you to beaches and swimming holes everywhere.
You can download the app here.
What is Swim Guide?
Swim Guide is a website and app that will help you to:
- Discover a wide variety of beaches and other swimming locations
- Identify at a glance which beaches are clean for swimming (Green) and which have current (Red) water quality problems
- Get walking, driving, or transit directions to the beach of your choice
- Bookmark beaches for easy access
- Share your love for the best swimming holes on social media
- Help protect your waterway by reporting pollution or environmental concerns
Swim Guide offers an intuitive, easy-to-use interface that lets you see a map of beaches in your area and their current water quality status.
Who Maintains Swim Guide?
Sharing a love of beaches is really important to Waterkeepers. Since 2011, dozens of nonprofit and public organizations have started contributing information to Swim Guide. It draws on water quality information from government agencies or from Waterkeepers themselves so that you have access to up-to-date water quality information as often as possible. Waterkeepers are building Swim Guide for one reason: we want people to explore, enjoy, and fall in love with the beach so that our coastlines and swimming holes will be protected for generations to come.
Miami Waterkeeper maintains the Swim Guide beach sites in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, including not just sites monitored by the Florida Department of Health, but also our own sites that we sample and test in-house.
How Swim Guide Works
When Miami Waterkeeper obtains data on enterococcus counts at area beaches and other locations, whether from the Florida Department of Health or our own testing, we categorize sites based on those counts using Florida Department of Health criteria:
0-70 enterococci per sample: Safe for swimming
70 enterococci per sample: Not safe for swimming
We then designate each site as "pass" (green) or "fail" (red) on Swim Guide. Please note that this only represents the last data available at a given beach; in Florida, the Department of Health issues no-swim advisories are issued if there are two failed (>70 enterococci) tests in a row at a beach. However, Swim Guide marks a beach as red if it fails even once.
When available test results are more than approximately a week old, Swim Guide designates that beach in terms of its "historical status." Beaches with a historical pass rate 95% of the time will be marked as green. Beaches with a historical pass rate of 60%-95% of the time are marked as yellow. Finally, beaches with a historical pass rate of 59% or under will be marked as red.
We also mark beaches as red when they face closure or no-swim advisories for reasons other than high bacteria counts; for example, if there is a nearby sewage spill or potential red tide exposure. Beaches marked red for this reason will have a no-swim icon in a red triangle, as opposed to the typical red circle.
Site Sponsorship or Advertising Opportunities
Swim Guide has become a popular tool in South Florida. In fact, recently 4 out of the top 5 visited sites in Swim Guide were in the Miami area, with Haulover Beach reaching the top spot! And that is out of over 7,000 Swim Guide sites across the world. If you would like to support the costs of testing an additional beach site, or if you would like to support already-existing sites, we can recognize you or your organization in the app itself through a banner advertisement that occurs when users view beach sites. To find out more details, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.