projects > southwest coast of everglades national park-greater everglades baseline information and response to cerp
Southwest Coast of Everglades National Park-Greater Everglades Baseline Information and Response to CERP
Hydrologic information throughout the Everglades ecosystem is key to the development of restoration strategies and for future evaluation of restoration results. There are significant hydrologic information gaps throughout the Everglades, Big Cypress, and Ten Thousand Islands wetlands and estuaries that need to be addressed, particularly along Florida's southwest coast. Among these gaps are flow, water level, and salinity data. This study, in conjunction with the ENP's marine monitoring network and Rookery Bay National Estuaries Reserch Reserve, will provide water level, salinity, and flow information at key points within the mangrove zone along the southwest coast of ENP, BCNP, and TTI. Hydrodynamic modelers of the Everglades, Florida Bay, southwest coast estuaries, and other adjacent marine systems, will use these data to calibrate and verify models describing flow patterns throughout the area. The study area encompasses the estuarine and wetland regions from White Water Bay near Flamingo to Goodland. In collaboration with other on-going studies, results of this study will provide information on freshwater flows and salinity trends, effects of weather systems, and on how Restoration projects (Everglades and Picayune Strand) affect the freshwater inflows and water quality of the estuarine ecosystem.
Additionally, seasonal variations in carbon and mercury (total and methyl mercury) transport within ENP and export to the Gulf of Mexico from the Everglades are not fully understood. Taking advantage of existing infrastructure and data already available along the SW coast of ENP, and a minimal investment for the implementation of continuous monitoring at existing stations using surrogate sensor data for calculating concentration and flux of carbon and mercury would greatly decrease this information gap.
The objectives of this study are (1) to describe flow and salinity of estuaries along the southwest coast of ENP, BCNP, and TTI in relation to freshwater inflow and tidal exchange with the Gulf of Mexico; (2) provide support to the SIRENIA Manatee research project, and to programs like the Everglades Long Term Ecological Research (LTER); (3) establish partnership with other GEPES projects and Federal programs to increase data density of carbon and mercury concentrations and flux at selected locations within the freshwater marshes, freshwater marsh-mangrove transition zones, and tidal rivers of ENP. These data will be valuable for the calculation of carbon and mercury flux into ENP, transport within, and export to the Gulf of Mexico.
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