projects > southwest florida coastal and wetland systems monitoring > project summary
Project Summary Sheet
U.S. Geological Survey, Greater Everglades Science Program: Place-Based Studies
Fiscal Year 2002 Project Summary Sheet
Location (Subregions & Counties): Greater Everglades Subregions: Southwest Everglades (Gulf of Mexico); Monroe and Collier Counties
Funding (Source): USGS Place-Based Studies
Principal Investigator(s): Eduardo Patino, firstname.lastname@example.org, (941) 275-8448
Supporting Organizations: Everglades National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve
Associated / Linked Projects: Southern Inland Coastal Systems (SICS) Model Development, (Eric Swain, email@example.com); Tides and Inflows in the Mangroves of the Everglades (TIME) model development, (Raymond Schaffranek, firstname.lastname@example.org); Vegetation and hydrology of land-margin ecosystems in south Florida, (Tom Smith, email@example.com); Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) of the Everglades, (Dan Childers, firstname.lastname@example.org); SIRENIA Manatee project, (Lynn W. Lefebvre, Lynn_Lefebvre@usgs.gov
Overview & Status: The development of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) has established the principal restoration goal to deliver the right amount of water, of the right quality, to the right places, and at the right time. In order to achieve this goal, information that specifically measures the quantity, quality, timing and distribution of water within the Everglades ecosystem must be obtained. In 1996, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) began a project to measure flows and nutrient flux from the Everglades wetlands into the southwest estuaries of Everglades National Park. The current project has taken over the responsibilities of this project and expanded the study area to the northwest (nutrient data collection was discontinued in FY-2000). The objectives of the current project are to quantify water discharge, describe flow characteristics of estuarine rivers, provide necessary hydrologic information (including wetland sheet-flow velocity at selected sites) for the development and calibration of the USGS Tides and Inflows in the Mangroves of the Everglades model (TIME), and to support programs such as the Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) of the Everglades and the SIRENIA Manatee project. Additionally, other federal and state agencies, universities, and local institutions conducting research in the area will be given access to all the information generated though this study.
Needs & Products: Hydrologic information for the wetlands and coastal rivers within the study area is needed for the calibration and verification of the TIME hydrodynamic model and as support data for on-going ecological research (i.e. LTER, SIRENIA, etc.). Most data collected through this study is transmitted via satellite and stored in the database of the USGS office in Miami, Florida. Quality assured data and other information generated by this study will be made available to all researchers through the USGS South Florida Information Access (SOFIA) web page. The project has been collecting data since 1996 and will be providing hydrologic data for physical and biological model applications, as well as for other research being done in the area. As Everglades restoration proceeds, changes in water flow and salinity in the estuaries along the southwest coast will be monitored, allowing for modifications to be made to the models.
Application to Everglades Restoration: This project provides knowledge of freshwater flow from the Everglades wetlands into the estuaries of southwest Florida that has not, up until now, been accurately described and made available to water resource managers. These flows affect the salinity, nutrient content, sediment transport, and chemical characteristics of the estuaries, which in turn affect the ecosystem health. Everglades researchers require measured flow data to compute nutrient, chemical, and sediment fluxes. These flux computations are then used in biological and physical studies of the ecosystem. Additionally, accurate measures of freshwater flow, water level, and salinity are used as input to hydrodynamic models of the Everglades and for water-budget determinations. Restoration decisions based on scenario testing from hydrodynamic models have a higher degree of confidence when the models are calibrated/verified with measured field data. Lastly, there is a continuing critical need to monitor any flow distribution changes that occur during restoration to help understand the effects of water management changes to the watershed.