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Bay Drift

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    Biscayne Bay Drift Card Study
    Vizcaya is talking trash.

    Everyday trash arrives at Vizcaya’s shore along Biscayne Bay. Visitors notice it and Vizcaya staff can’t keep up with it. We want to know, where does the trash come from? Our plan: if we know where the trash comes from we can design solutions to decrease trash on our shores and to keep Biscayne Bay clean and healthy for our Miami community.

    Vizcaya initiated a partnership with University of Miami’s CARTHE (Consortium for Advanced Research on Transport of Hydrocarbon in the Environment) and the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science to launch the Biscayne Bay Drift Card Study or #BayDrift -- a collaborative citizen-science project to study the current flows in Biscayne Bay in order to better understand how trash, sewage, oil, and harmful algae blooms get transported through South Florida waters by the wind and ocean currents.

    For one year, the project team will coordinate quarterly deployments, in September 2016, December 2016, February 2017 and April 2017, of drift cards with scientists, students, families and members of the community in eight locations across northern Biscayne Bay (near downtown Miami). As a result of the currents, drift cards might be found anywhere along Miami-Dade county coastline and beyond.

    For a list of events, please visit the Bay Drift Activities page.

    What’s a drift card?
    Drift cards are small, brightly painted eco-friendly wood cards that float along the water’s surface, moved by the currents. Each card is coded for the project team to be able to identify where it was deployed. Additionally, the drift cards are labeled with information that introduces the project and instructs the finder how to report where it was found. By tracking the location where drift cards are released and found, we will learn how the currents distribute debris in Biscayne Bay.

    If a person finds a drift card, we request they report the date, time, and location, along with a photo via Instagram with #BayDrift or email to

    To get involved or to join a deployment program contact: Rebecca Peterson, Community Programs Manager, or Diana Peña, School Programs Manager.