The Beach Conditions Reporting System, or BCRS, is a website and accompanying mobile app developed by researchers at Mote Marine Laboratory. The BCRS currently collects and disperses beach conditions from 43 locations along the coast of Florida; however, Mote is working to expand this system to other areas both in and out of the state of Florida. The BCRS is completely dependent on a network of dedicated volunteers who submit reports one-two times per day, 5-7 day per week. BCRS reports include parameters such as flag color, water surface temperature, wind speed and direction, surf type, wave height, crowds, debris, etc., as well as parameters for dead fish and respiratory irritation associated with Florida's red tide. As the BCRS expands, new parameters will be added to these reports to give a broader picture of the current conditions at any given beach.
The BCRS has become a go-to for locals and tourists alike for checking the conditions at their local beach before making plans or heading out for any activities. The website alone has drawn over 1,700,000 individual users from around the world and over 5 million total page views since the 2018-2019 red tide bloom along Florida's Gulf Coast. In addition to environmental conditions the BCRS also displays amenities such as picnic tables, playgrounds, barbecue grills, restrooms, etc., truly making it a one-stop-shop for any beach-goer.
Not only does this program aid the public in making informed decisions that can both protect their health and enhance their overall beach experience, the information is also shared with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for long term harmful algal bloom (HAB) monitoring and potential forecasting efforts.