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Bathing pavilion, Miami Beach

The beach always has been Miamiís leading tourist attraction. The tropical waters and sandy beaches have drawn everyone from sailing enthusiasts like the Munroes to those seeking improved health and rejuvenation like the Tuttles.

The peaceful nature of its untrammeled beaches has lured tourists of all ages, from college students to retirees, and from all parts of the globe. Yet the rise of a tourist economy in South Florida also has threatened the survival of local beaches.

Coastal development, the dredging of deep channels to accommodate commercial and recreational boating, and tropical storms have contributed to the erosion of local beaches. In the early 1980s, Miami Beachís ten miles of shoreline were restored through a $65 million project of beach nourishment, whereby new sand was pumped onto the beach from an off-shore source. The project enabled Miami Beach to be labeled the "hottest" beach in the country by Surfrider Magazine (2002) and one of the top ten beaches in the world by the Travel Channel (2001), further enhancing Miami Beachís reputation as a top tourist destination.

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