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Hydrologic Studies in Support of South Florida Ecosystem Restoration

Raymond W. Schaffranek

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Abstract

The U. S. Geological Survey (USGS), which is the principal science agency of the Department of the Interior, has a prominent role in the Federal Government's initiative aimed at restoration of the south Florida ecosystem. USGS scientists, in cooperation with researchers from other Federal and State agencies, as well as academia, are undertaking a comprehensive program to document the ecosystem's physical characteristics and properties in order to provide the basic data and scientific information needed to ensure its survivability. The objective is to invoke the latest scientific findings in the decision-making process of land and resource managers for planning, evaluating, and executing restoration actions. One major component of the program is focused on investigating the hydrologic and hydraulic factors that affect the flow of water through the ecosystem. Hydrologic studies are yielding scientific findings that are helping to quantify hydroperiods and flow patterns that define wet-season durations critical to sustaining habitat for flora and fauna. In addition, the results of these discrete process studies are serving to improve numerical models that are being used to investigate cause-and-effect relations among hydrologic processes. In this paper, several hydrologic studies that are being conducted in support of the development of a numerical model of the interface of the Everglades ecosystem with Florida Bay are described, some preliminary findings of these process studies are presented, and the role of these scientific findings in the development of models for the south Florida ecosystem is discussed.


(This paper is from the proceedings of the ASCE 2000 Joint Conference on Water Resources Engineering and Water Resources Planning and Management)

Related information:

SOFIA Project: Canal and Wetland Flow/Transport Interaction



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