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Project Summary Sheet

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

Project: Salinity Pattern in Florida Bay: A Synthesis

Web Site: Salinity Patterns in Florida Bay: A Synthesis

Location: Central Everglades, including Florida Bay; Monroe County

Principal Investigator: Michael B. Robblee,, 305.348.1269

Project Personnel: Robert Halley,, 727.893.3100x3020; DeWitt Smith,, 305.242.7818

Other Supporting Organizations: Florida International University, Everglades National Park

Associated Projects: None

Overview & Status: An understanding of salinity conditions in Florida Bay and an understanding of the relationship of salinity in the Bay to upstream water management activities are critical needs for ongoing restoration activities in south Florida. Additionally, it has become apparent that the database being developed here will provides an approach for integrating different, but typical, types of data, in this case salinity data, found in the restoration program into a searchable useable form. This project is in year 2 of three years. At present we have Oracle running in St. Petersburg, a website in place and a preliminary version of a searchable salinity database constructed. The historical literature/data search is ongoing. The data sets are being updated to include data through December 1999. QA/QC of early Everglades NP monitoring data is ongoing. Our database developer left the project. We are replacing him with a contract at Florida International University. This work will update the existing database by making it fully relational, incorporating structure that will document metadata and facilitate merging data sets that vary significantly on space and time scales. Yet to be settled but due in year 2 is a user friendly interface that will be used for exploring the salinity data, preparing files for export and for facilitating an online synthesis capability. It is expected that this work will be completed by September 30, 2000. A significant product due in year 3 is a graphical capability to the interface and expanding the database to include the west coast estuaries.

Needs & Products: Our most important need at this time to complete this project in the project three-year time frame is adequate database development expertise. Products will be an online searchable database for the user to explore salinity data in Florida Bay and the mangrove estuaries, develop and export data sets, and query concerning salinity patterns in each system (monthly, seasonal, inter-annual and long-term). The published product will be a synthesis and review of salinity patterns in Florida Bay.

Application to Everglades Restoration: The salinity data searchable database and synthesis will be useful for the following: 1. Interpretation of cores taken to reconstruct salinity conditions in Florida Bay prior to water management and the availability salinity measurements; 2. Development, calibration, verification and use of physical models of Florida Bay as well as upstream hydrological models including the hydrodynamic model of the Bay under development by the US Army Corps of Engineers, FATHOM a mass-balance model being developed within the Department of Interior Critical Ecosystem Studies Initiative, and SWIFT2D being developed by USGS/WRD.; 3. Development of baseline data sets for use comparing model performance and evaluating alternative water management scenarios: 4. Developing performance measures relating salinity to the response of critical biological components (e.g. spotted seatrout, pink shrimp, turtle grass, crocodile, spoonbill, etc.) for use evaluating upstream water management.

Study Milestones


















Field Work


Data Analysis






Initial Reporting




Credibility Assurance





Results Published









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)