The Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge is impacted by altered hydrology, impingement of high-conductivity canal water into the interior marsh, and elevated concentrations of nutrients, particularly phosphorus. A priority for the refuge is to better understand and minimize these impacts. Hydrodynamic and water quality models have the potential to provide needed management and scientific support related to these concerns.
A model development and evaluation project is underway led by Dr. Ehab Meselhe, University of Louisiana-Lafayette that will address many of the management questions relevant to the refuge through model analysis. Dr. Meselhe is developing (in collaboration with refuge personnel) a report reviewing alternative computer models that may be used in refuge hydrology and water quality modeling. This report will state model objectives, needs, and required specifications. This report will include a review of available models. An objective evaluation of how well existing models meet project needs, and screening of the available models to reduce the list of candidate models will also be reported by Dr. Meselhe and his research staff.
An independent technical panel of environmental modeling experts has been tasked with critically reviewing the UL documents, recommending any needed revisions to these documents, and recommending the model or models to be selected for implementation. The panel will also be tasked to provide any other technical comments or recommendations that they feel are appropriate and are of value in improving the modeling project. The panel will be charged with answering specific questions compiled by the panel chair, Dr. Vincent Neary, Tennessee Technological University. In addition to Dr. Neary, this panel includes Dr. John A. McCorquodale, University of New Orleans, and Dr. Malcolm L. Spaulding, University of Rhode Island.
On January 28, 2005, the panel will meet to receive input from refuge staff and other interested agencies and individuals.
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