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Project Summary Sheet

U.S Geological Survey, South Florida Ecosystem Program: Place-Based Studies

Project: Freshwater Flows into Northeastern Florida Bay

Web Site: http://sofia.er.usgs.gov/projects/freshwtr_flow/

Location: Greater Everglades Subregions: Central Everglades (Florida Bay); Monroe County

Principle Investigator: Clinton Hittle, cdhittle@usgs.gov 305.717.5815

Project Personnel: Mark Zucker, mzucker@usgs.gov 305.717.5852; Eduardo Patino, epatino@usgs.gov 941.275.8448

Other Supporting Organizations: Everglades National Park

Associated Projects: Southern Inland Coastal Systems (SICS) Model Development, (Eric Swain, edswain@usgs.gov 305.717.5825); Tides and Inflows in the Mangrove Ecotone (TIME) Model Development, (Raymond Schaffranek, rws@usgs.gov )

Overview & Status: Water flow, salinity, stage (water level), and temperature information along the mangrove zone is provided through this project to study the extent of the effects that water management practices on the mainland have on the quality of the Florida Bay environment. Seven fixed data collection platforms (DCP's) are located on the major creeks which flow into northeastern Florida Bay from the wetland. The DCP's collect continuous 15 minute-data which is then transmitted via satellite to the USGS office in Miami, Florida. Hydrodynamic modelers of the Everglades (mainland) and Florida Bay use these data to calibrate and verify models describing flow through the mangrove zone, and circulation patterns within the bay. The main objectives of this project are to determine water discharge along the northeastern coast of Florida Bay, to study the flows and salinity distribution patterns of shallow creeks within the study area, and to provide hydrodynamic models with boundary and calibration information at selected locations along the mangrove zone. The project has been collecting these data since late 1995 and is producing a portion of the standard data set to be used in describing Florida Bay's behavior through changing conditions.

Needs & Products: Information from this study provides knowledge of freshwater flow from Everglades National Park (ENP) to northeastern Florida Bay that has heretofore not been available to resource managers. Such information is critical for quantitatively determining the increased freshwater flows to and through the southern part of ENP as a result of restoration projects related to C-111, Taylor Slough and the overall Everglades Restoration effort. Flow into Florida Bay is closely related to sediment transport, salinity, and chemical characteristics of the bay, which in turn, have great influence on biological characteristics of the Bay. Additionally, freshwater flow is being and will continue to be used as input to hydrodynamic models of Florida Bay, for calibration of hydrologic models of the mainland, and for water-budget determinations for south Florida. Such models and computations are substantially more dependable and reliable because of the availability of flow data from this project. In turn, decisions regarding restoration activities based on scenario testing from such models and computations are also more reliable. As the restoration process proceeds, it will be critical to monitor any flow distribution changes that occur in order to understand the effects of changing water supply quantity and source into the upstream wetlands.

Application to Everglades Restoration: This flow data is being directly used in conjunction with data from many other ongoing studies to help determine the effects of changes in water deliveries to ENP on the Florida Bay ecosystem.

Study Milestones

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

Familiarity

o

o

x

               

Design

o

x

                 

Field Work

x

x

x

x

x

x

o

o

     

Data Analysis

x

x

x

x

x

x

o

o

     

Initial Reporting

o

x

o

x

o

x

         

Credibility Assurance

   

o

o

o

x

         

Results Published

o

o

o

o

o

x

         

Synthesis

   

x

x

x

x

o

o

     

Note: "x" indicates task completed, and "o" indicates task planned, but not completed


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Last updated: 24 April, 2014 @ 12:00 PM (KP)