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Project Summary Sheet

U.S. Geological Survey, Greater Everglades Science Initiative (Place-Based Studies)
CERP Funded Project

Fiscal Year 2003 Project Summary Report

Project Title: Lake Okeechobee Watershed Project (CERP)

Project Start Date: November 2001 Project End Date: March 2013

Web Sites: http://www.evergladesplan.org/pm/projects/proj_01_lake_o_watershed.cfm

Location (Subregions, Counties, Park or Refuge): Lake Okeechobee watershed (Okeechobee, Highlands, Glades counties)

Funding Source: CERP (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

Principal Investigator(s): Molly Wood

Project Personnel: Pamela Telis, John Shelton, Eddie Simonds, Hydrologic Technicians (TBD), ETI Contract Employees (TBD), Student (TBD)

Supporting Organizations: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and South Florida Water Management District

Associated / Linked Projects: The greater Lake Okeechobee Watershed Project (a component of CERP)

Overview & Objective(s): The greater Lake Okeechobee Watershed Project (LOWP), one of the components of CERP, has three primary goals: 1) to improve water quality in tributaries and discharges to Lake Okeechobee, 2) to increase storage capacity for watershed runoff and lake water, and 3) to enhance and restore wetlands in the watershed. The LOWP is managed by the USACE and SFWMD under guidance by a Project Delivery Team (PDT), consisting of several state and federal agencies including the USGS, private consultants, and public stakeholders. The PDT recognizes that baseline and long-term water quality and streamflow monitoring and characterization of nutrient loads in the watershed sub-basins are necessary components of the LOWP.
The objectives of the sub-basin-scale monitoring, to be conducted by the USGS over 10 years at 17 sites in the LOWP area, are as follows:

  • Compute loads for phosphorus, nitrogen, and total suspended solids in selected sub-basins with no current load monitoring.

  • Characterize spatial distribution of loads across the LOWP area.

  • Establish a baseline of water quality and streamflow information at the sub-basin level.

  • Provide data to cooperators for planning activities for restoration of Lake Okeechobee.

  • Provide data for evaluating changes in the watershed, particularly the cumulative effect of restoration activities at the sub-basin level.

Status: Phase 1 (November 2001-March 2003) was completed with submittal and approval of the Draft Network Design Proposal. Phase 2 started April 1, 2003. Construction of 3 monitoring stations was completed on June 12; construction of remaining 14 stations will commence mid-July. Streamflow monitoring will begin in August.

Recent & Planned Products:
Completed:

Draft Network Design Proposal for Sub-Basin-Scale Monitoring - submitted July 2002
Addendum to the Draft Network Design Proposal for Sub-Basin-Scale Monitoring - submitted April 2003
Final Network Design Proposal for Sub-Basin-Scale Monitoring - submitted June 2003

Planned:

Quarterly load data reports (after water quality monitoring begins in fall 2003) and project status reports
Annual budget reports
Summary report of activities in Years 1 and 2
Data synthesis reports, one in Year 6 and one at the end of the project (USGS publications - not sure which type)

Relevance to Greater Everglades Restoration Information Needs: This monitoring network will provide a long-term record of streamflow and water quality data and will allow evaluation of multiple restoration activities in the Lake Okeechobee watershed. The establishment and operation of this network provides a foundation for other research opportunities that could be funded outside of CERP, thus adding value to the network without cost to CERP. Additional parameters may be added relatively inexpensively because the primary cost of data collection is already covered within the monitoring network, thus leading to additional scientific research that may improve our understanding of the complex south Florida ecosystem and the effects of the Everglades restoration.

Key Findings: N/A - not yet collecting data



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Last updated: 04 September, 2013 @ 02:08 PM(TJE)