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Report No. LOXA05-004

Enhanced Water Quality Program Parameter Reduction Rationale

Prepared by:
Donatto Surratt, Ph.D.
A.R.M. Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge
December 2005

Background

In 2004 Congress authorized funding for an Enhanced Water Quality Monitoring Program, which would aid in improving the scientific understanding of water quality issues in the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge). The 1991 Federal Consent Decree established a set of analytical parameters based on previous work carried out across the greater Everglades and 14 sampling location across the Refuge. These stations are also part of a larger effort conducted by the South Florida Water Management District to sample water quality in the Everglades Protection Area (EVPA). The Enhanced Water Quality Monitoring Program (LOXA), initiated in June 2004, consists of an additional 39 sampling locations that are monitored for 23 of the water quality parameters monitored at the 14-station Consent Decree network (Table 1).

The LOXA Work Plan (Brandt et al. 2004) states that, "data will be reviewed... and the list of parameters reduced as appropriate" (p. 12) with the objective to optimize the marsh monitoring network. Further, the reduction of parameters has the potential to reduce analytical cost and these reclaimed funds can be applied to extending the duration of the LOXA monitoring effort. This document highlights the procedures and rationale applied in selecting the analytical parameters for reduction in the Refuge's Enhanced Water Quality Monitoring Program. The analysis presented here are specific to the Refuge and the objectives of our study. Parameter elimination recommendations presented here may not be appropriate for other studies in the Everglades (e.g., EVPA).

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