reports > february 2005 update
To: Representatives of the Technical Oversight Committee
Nick Aumen, Everglades National Park
Mike Waldon, A.R.M. Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge
Paul DuBowy, Jacksonville District, Army Corps of Engineers
Garth Redfield, South Florida Water Management District
Frank Nearhoof, Florida Department of Environmental Protection
From: Matt Harwell and Laura Brandt, A.R.M. Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge
Date: 23 February 2005
Re: Quarterly Update on Enhanced Water Quality Monitoring and Modeling Program for the A.R.M. Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge
This update is a summary of activities from the previous three months (December 2004 - February 2005) on the implementation of the Refuge's Enhanced Water Quality Monitoring and Modeling Program. A project overview of this effort is provided in Attachment 1.
The Principals (17 December 2003) requested implementation of the eight recommendations of the TOC (24 July 2003). The Refuge's Enhanced Water Quality Monitoring and Modeling Program addresses four of these recommendations. Specifically:
|Figure 1: Map of A.R.M. Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge showing location of the existing Federal Consent Decree compliance monitoring network (EVPA stations; ) and the new, enhanced water quality monitoring program stations (+). [larger image]|
An expanded water quality monitoring network (a combination of transects and individual sites) has been designed and established (Fig. 1). Complete sampling of the network occurred in December 2004, all but three sites in January 2005, and all but eight sites in February 2005 (Fig. 2, Fig. 3, Fig. 4). The results of these analyses will be presented at future TOC meetings. Final data for monthly samples continue to be publicly posted on DBHYDRO by the SFWMD.
The monitoring transects have been equipped with water conductivity data loggers to
collect conductivity and temperature data. This information will be used to understand
and refine operations, when possible, to minimize canal water intrusion into the interior
marsh. Seven transects have been instrumented, two in cooperation with the USGS.
|Figure 2: (left) December 2004 map of enhanced water quality monitoring program stations sampled (water drop symbol) in the A.R.M. Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. [larger image]||Figure 3: (right) January 2005 map of enhanced water quality monitoring program stations sampled (water drop symbol) in the A.R.M. Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. [larger image]|
|Figure 4: February 2005 map of enhanced water quality monitoring program stations sampled (water drop symbol) in the A.R.M. Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. [larger image]|
A contract has been established with Dr. Ehab Meselhe (University of Louisiana - Lafayette) for the development of these modeling tools for the Refuge. The first phase of this effort involves a model selection process.
Separately, a contract has been established with Dr. Vince Neary (Tennessee Technological University) to establish an external technical panel to provide review of the model selection process and the development of the modeling tool(s) over time.
C. Modeling of the Refuge
2. Evaluate issues associated with phosphorus loads and transports within the L-40 and L-7 canals.
A canal monitoring contract with Dr. Samira Daroub (UF - IFAS) is ongoing. This effort
conducts canal hydrographic surveys and synoptic water quality surveys.
Finally, below is a brief list of some of the "next steps" from previous updates, including their status :
An initial work plan was developed by Refuge staff outlining studies in four areas: (1) increased monthly water quality sampling sites; (2) monitoring of canal water intrusion using surface water conductivity transects into the interior marsh; (3) characterization of sediment and water quality in the perimeter canals of the Refuge; and, (4) development of hydrodynamic and water quality modeling. These four areas are consistent with longterm goals identified in the Refuge's 15 year Comprehensive Conservation Plan and recommendations made by the Technical Oversight Committee for addressing exceedances observed in interim phosphorus levels within the Refuge (http://www.sfwmd.gov/org/ema/toc/archives_mtgs.html#2004). The plan was provided to State, other Federal, and Tribal partners for review and comment in February 2004, and was subsequently improved based on constructive comments received. The plan is available at: http://www.sfwmd.gov/org/ema/toc/archives/docs/refuge_final_work_plan_2004-2006.pdf. An additional appropriation in 2004 allowed for extending the duration of the program and for adding a canal monitoring component to the program.
The Refuge's existing water quality monitoring network (used for Federal Consent Decree compliance [EVPA]; Fig. 1) is estimated to cover approximately 60% of the Refuge, leaving 40% of the marsh uncharacterized, predominantly in the outer, impacted regions of the marsh. The additional monthly sampling as part of the enhanced water quality monitoring program focuses on these uncharacterized areas (Fig. 1). This information can then be used to refine operations, when possible, to minimize canal water intrusion into the interior marsh. Sampling for the enhanced water quality monitoring program is designed to be as similar as possible as the compliance monitoring program (e.g., same collection protocols, collection staff, laboratory analyses by SFWMD, data QA/QC, data availability, etc.).
The goal of the modeling exercise is to provide support for Refuge management decisions and planning related to water control operations, water supply, and water quality and provide a foundation for future ecological studies. The model will be maintained to support future management decisions, model development, and monitoring planning. Preliminary modeling is anticipated to be available in FY 06, with completed model(s) available for management decision support in early FY 07.
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