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Project Summary Sheet

U.S. Geological Survey, Greater Everglades Priority Ecosystems Science (PES) Initiative

Fiscal Year 2004 Study Summary Report

Study Title: Analysis of Historical Water-Quality Data
Study Start Date: 2001 Study End Date: 2005
Web Sites: data available at SOFIA
Location (Subregions, Counties, Park or Refuge): Everglades National Park (ENP), Big Cypress National Preserve (BCNP), Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge (LNWR), and Biscayne Bay National Park (BBNP).
Funding Source: USGS Greater Everglades Priority Ecosystems Science (PES); CESI in 2001
Principal Investigator(s): Benjamin McPherson
Study Personnel: Ronald Miller
Supporting Organizations: National Park Service and US Fish and Wildlife Service
Associated / Linked Studies:

Overview & Objective(s): The study provides a review and analysis of historical water-quality data in BCNP, BBNP, ENP, and LNWR and nearby waters of south Florida. This information will help establish water-quality standards and baseline conditions in the parks, and will help evaluate the potential effects of CERP on water quality. Objectives include: (1) assemble, review and edit water-quality data and provide a working data base; (2) analyze and evaluate the data and prepare interpretative reports on historical water-quality conditions and trends in BCNP, ENP, LNWR, and other DOI lands. These analyses will provide a baseline for evaluating how CERP might affect water quality in the parks and refuge.

Status: Active; on-going.

Recent Products: McPherson, B.F., Miller, R.L., Sobczak, Robert, and Clark, Christine, 2003, Water quality in Big Cypress National Preserve and Everglades National Park, 1960-2000. U. S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet FS-097-03, 4 p.

Miller, R.L., McPherson, B.F., Sobczak, Robert, and Clark, Christine, 2004, Water quality in Big Cypress National Preserve and Everglades National Park ---Trends and Spatial characteristics of selected constituents. Water Resources Investigation Report 03-4249, 34p.

Planned Products: Water Quality in South Florida's Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge -Trends and Spatial Characteristics, 1984-2004, Abstract and Poster for December 2004 Ecosystem Restoration Conference, Orlando, Fl.

Water Quality in South Florida's Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge -Trends and Spatial Characteristics, of selected constituents, 1984-2004, U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report.

Provide SOFIA an edited database on water quality at key sites in and near BBNP.

Specific Relevance to Information Needs Identified in DOI's Science Plan in Support of Ecosystem Restoration, Preservation, and Protection in South Florida (DOI's Everglades Science Plan) [See Plan on SOFIA's Web site: http://sofia.usgs.gov/publications/reports/doi-science-plan/]:
This study supports several of the projects listed in the DOI science plan. These projects include: (1) Arthur R. Marshall L NWR Internal Canal Structure (p. 37). The study provides data and analysis of historic hydrologic and water-quality conditions in the Loxahatchee refuge (p. 40) needed to develop the specific hydrologic and ecological targets for the project. (2) Water Conservation Area 3 Decompartmentalization and Sheetflow Enhancement (p. 66), and (3) Additional Water for Everglades National Park and Biscayne Bay Feasibility Study (p. 73). The study provides data and analysis of historical hydrologic, land use and water management changes, and water-quality conditions in BCNP, BBNP, ENP and surrounding lands. These data and analyses complement hydrologic, paleoecological, and modeling investigations in these DOI lands, provide better understanding of linkages between geologic, hydrologic, chemical and biological processes in the Everglades (pages 68 and 74), and support in the development of hydrologic targets for the restoration projects.

Key Findings:

  1. Major physical alterations of the landscape and associated water-management practices in the greater Everglades have altered water quality over the last 40 years.
  2. Water quality of canals that drain agricultural lands contain relatively high concentrations of dissolved solids, nutrients, and pesticide compared with background levels.
  3. Canal waters have flowed into marshes of ENP and LNWR and altered water quality.
  4. Water quality in marshes remote from canals respond to seasonal changes in rainfall and water levels and to variations in geology, hydrology, and vegetation.



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