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Project Summary Sheet

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

Project: Geochemical Monitoring of Restoration Progress

Web Site: http://coastal.er.usgs.gov; http://sofia.usgs.gov

Location: Central Everglades, including Florida Bay; Monroe County

Principal Investigator: Kimberly Yates, kyates@usgs.gov, 727.803.8747x3059

Project Personnel: Robert B. Halley, rhalley@usgs.gov; Phillip Thompson, prthompson@usgs.gov; Nancy Dewitt, ndewitt@usgs.gov; Alex Moomaw, amoomaw@usgs.gov

Other Supporting Organizations: None

Associated Projects: Investigations of mud-bank seagrass die-off (Carlson); Synthesis of Carbonate Sedimentation in Florida Bay (Halley)

Overview & Status: Carbonate environments such as Florida Bay are characterized by three primary biogeochemical processes: 1) carbonate sediment production by calcifying organisms and dissolution, 2) photosynthesis, and 3) respiration (referred to collectively as productivity). These processes are sensitive to changes in water quality including salinity and nutrients, and show distinct rates changes before visual evidence of environmental disturbances. This project establishes a program to monitor changes in critical biogeochemical processes in Florida Bay relative to water quality changes as South Florida restoration proceeds. Fiscal year 2000 activities have focused on establishing seasonal baseline productivity data on rates of calcification, photosynthesis, and respiration on mud banks and in basins located in regions of the bay that exhibit similar water quality properties. Monitoring sites have been established on representative substrate types in the central and western regions of the bay. Central Bay study sites include seagrass beds located on Russell Bank and seagrass and mud-bottom located in Manatee Key Basin. Western study sites include seagrass and hard-bottom communities located near Buchanon Bank. Water column productivity has been measured in Manatee Key Basin where planktonic algal blooms frequently occur. Productivity rates at seagrass sites at each of these locations were measured in March and September of 1999. Productivity rates at all sites, including mud- and hard-bottom communities, and water column were measured in March 2000. Water sample and data analyses from March 2000 will be complete by mid-May. A summary sheet and report from March 2000 results will be distributed to clients shortly thereafter. Additional seagrass sites near Barnes Key (an area of recent seagrass die-off in the western bay monitored by FMRI) were surveyed in March 2000. Productivity will be measured at this location during July 2000. Potential new monitoring sites located in the eastern region of the bay and benthic algal mat locations will be surveyed in July. Productivity at all monitoring sites will be measured again in September 2000. Seasonal monitoring will continue through the duration of the project.

Needs & Products: Productivity monitoring efforts will allow resource mangers to evaluate progress and success of restoration efforts. Geochemical productivity monitoring provides a mechanism for measuring early response of the Florida Bay ecosystem to environmental perturbations. This will enable resource managers to identify ecological responses to restoration and to evaluate the need for alteration of restoration activities prior to the onset of visual shifts in sub-aquatic plant and animal populations. Documents published include: Yates, K.K. 2000. SHARQ Infested Waters. U.S.G.S. Open File Report # 00-166. (Info sheet on productivity measurements using the Submersible Habitat for Analyzing Reef Quality, S.H.A.R.Q.): Yates, K.K. and Halley, R.B. 1999. Geochemical measurements of carbonate sedimentation and organic productivity in Florida Bay: a potential measure of restoration progress. 1999 Florida Bay and Adjacent Marine Ecosystems Science Conference Program and Abstracts. November 1-5, 1999, Key Largo, Florida. Documents in preparation include a scientific paper on geochemical techniques submitted to AAUS by June 30, 2000 and a scientific paper summarizing results of baseline productivity measurements from March and September 1999, and March 2000 for submission to Estuaries July 2000. In addition, a presentation was made at the 1999 Florida Bay and Adjacent Marine Systems Science Conference, November 1-5, Key Largo, Florida. An Annual Report on March and September 1999 results was also submitted to Everglades National Park in December 1999.

Application to Everglades Restoration: Geochemical monitoring efforts establish baseline data from which to evaluate progress, provide a measure of the progress and effects of restoration on environmental health and water quality, and complement biological monitoring of indicator species. This information is essential for identifying when successful restoration has been accomplished.

Study Milestones

(Phase 1 & Phase II)

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

Familiarity

       

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Design

       

xxxx

xxxx

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Field Work

       

xxxx

xxxx

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Data Analysis

       

xxxx

xxoo

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Initial Reporting

       

x

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Credibility Assurance

       

xxxx

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Results Published

         

o

 

o

 

o

 

Synthesis

                 

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)