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Project Work Plan

Department of Interior USGS GE PES
Fiscal Year 2014 Study Work Plan

Study Title: Southwest Florida National Wildlife Refuges - Greater Everglades Baseline Information and Response to CERP
Current Study Start Date: October 2009 Current Study End Date: Ongoing
Location (Subregions, Counties, Park, or Refuge): 1) J. N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island, Lee County, FL 2) Tidal Caloosahatchee River and downstream estuaries, Lee County, FL 3) W.P. Franklin Lock and Dam (S-79), Lee County, FL 4) Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge, Collier County, FL.
Funding Source: USGS Greater Everglades Priority Ecosystems Science (GEPES)
Funding History: FY-2010, FY-2011, FY-2012, FY-2013
FY14 USGS Funding:
Principal Investigator: Amanda Booth
Supporting Organizations: USGS, USFWS, USACE, SFWMD, Rookery Bay NERR, and Florida Gulf Coast University.

Overview & Objective(s):

The objectives of this project are:

  1. To study the relation between freshwater discharges from the Caloosahatchee River and water quality trends at J. N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge.
  2. To describe seasonal changes in the spatial distribution of selected water quality parameters along the Caloosahatchee River and downstream estuaries.
  3. To determine dissolved organic carbon and nitrate concentrations and calculate loads from the Caloosahatchee River at the Franklin Locks (S-79) to the Caloosahatchee Estuary.
  4. To describe winter temperature patterns at the Port of The Islands boat basin, an important passive thermal refuge for manatees.

Specific Relevance to Major Unanswered Questions and Information Needs Identified:

1.-3. The greater Everglades Restoration program includes a management plan for the C-43 Canal, or Caloosahatchee River. This plan affects the quantity, quality, and timing of freshwater releases at control structure S-79. Freshwater contributions are from Lake Okeechobee, and farming runoff along the canal from Lake Okeechobee to town of Alva.

  1. This study will provide basic information on the effects on variations in water quality entering J. N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge with respect to management practices at control structure S-79.
  2. This study will provide seasonal and spatial variations in water quality constituents within the tidal Caloosahatchee River and downstream estuaries.
  3. Carbon and nitrate are of interest and can potentially contribute to the environmental degradation of the Caloosahatchee River Estuary. This study will provide high-density data (15 minute time-series) of carbon and nitrate concentrations that will be used to calculate loads to the Gulf of Mexico.

4. The Ten Thousand Islands is a passive thermal refuge used by Florida manatees. Aerial surveys during 2009-2010 indicate that canal systems in the Ten Thousand Islands were effective at preventing manatee mortalities even under record breaking winter temperatures. Hydrologic data demonstrates thermal inversion when salinity stratification is present. Groundwater appears to provide additional heat during periods of low tide. Currently restoration efforts are under way to restore more natural flow patterns in the Ten Thousand Islands, potentially reducing or eliminating stratification in the water column. This study will provide information on the effects of restoration efforts on salinity and thermal stratification and thus on the passive thermal refuge at the boat basin of Port of The Islands.

Planned Products for FY14:

  1. Water quality surveys collected during 2014 (maps and data) will be published on SOFIA - http://sofia.usgs.gov/exchange/ding_wqs/index.html.
  2. Final report will be prepared and published by September 2014. This report will document all data and information generated through the study, and a description of how Caloosahatchee River freshwater discharges impact the water quality entering Ding Darling Refuge.
  3. Abstracts for conference oral and/or poster presentations will be prepared for the USGS National Water Quality Workshop, October 6-10, 2014.

Work Plan

Title of Task: Monitoring Water Quality trends at McIntyre Creek in Relation to Caloosahatchee River Freshwater Outflows
Task Leaders: Amanda Booth
Phone: 239-275-8448
FAX: 239-275-6820
Task priority: high
Task Personnel: Lars Soderqvist

Task Summary and Objective(s): The objective of this project is to study the relation between discharges at S-79and water quality trends at J. N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

Work to be undertaken during the proposal year and a description of the methods and procedures: Equipment was removed from McIntyre Creek in December 2013. Analysis of data and final report is to be published during 2014.

Specific Task Products:

  1. USGS Data Series report documenting information generated through this study and describing impacts of Caloosahatchee River freshwater discharges on water quality inside Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

Title of Task: Water Quality Surveys along the Caloosahatchee River Estuary, San Carlos Bay, Pine Island Sound, southern Charlotte Harbor, and Matlacha Pass
Task Leaders: Amanda Booth
Phone: 239-275-8448
FAX: 239-275-6820
Task priority: high
Task Personnel: Lars Soderqvist, Travis Knight

Task Summary and Objective(s): The objectives of this task are to describe the seasonal patterns and effects of freshwater inflows and discharges at S-79 on the spatial distribution of selected water quality parameters along the tidal Caloosahatchee River and downstream estuaries.

Work to be undertaken during the proposal year and a description of the methods and procedures: Water quality sensor data using a moving boat system will be collected along the tidal Caloosahatchee River, San Carlos Bay, Pine Island sound, southern portion of Charlotte Harbor, and Matlacha Pass on a quarterly basis plus twice during special events, such as storms, large freshwater releases at S-79, or harmful algal events. Sensor and coordinate data are recorded as the boat travels throughout the study area making measurements using a flow-through onboard pump system. Salinity, temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, and turbidity data are recorded at 5-second intervals. Sensors are calibrated prior to each survey following procedures described in Wagner and others (2006). Data is processed and reviewed using procedures outlined in Soderqvist and Patino (2010). Water quality maps are created using ESRI Arc Map GIS program. CDOM fluorescence and discrete DOC samples are collected and analyzed by George Akins Lab in order to create DOC maps. Nitrate data from a Satlantic SUNA and discrete nitrate samples are collected and analyzed at the USGS National Water Quality Lab in order to validate data from the Satlantic SUNA and create nitrate maps. CDOM, DOC and nitrate maps will be released in a USGS publication and subsequently added to the SOFIA webpage.

Specific Task Products:

  1. All water quality surveys for salinity, temperature, pH, turbidity and dissolved oxygen through December 2013 have been published on SOFIA. Subsequent surveys will be added on the same project webpage - http://sofia.usgs.gov/exchange/ding_wqs/index.html
  2. Presentation on project status, progress, and future plans during the FLWSC Water Quality Review; April, 20, 2014.
  3. Abstracts for conference oral and/or poster presentations will be prepared for USGS National Water Quality Lab.

Title of Task: Monitoring carbon and nitrate concentrations and loads to the Caloosahatchee River
Task Leaders: Amanda Booth
Phone: 239-275-8448
FAX: 239-275-6820
Task priority: high
Task Personnel: Travis Knight, Lars Soderqvist

Task Summary and Objective(s): The objectives of this task are to monitor carbon and nitrate concentrations at S-79 and to calculate loads to the Caloosahatchee Estuary.

Work to be undertaken during the proposal year and a description of the methods and procedures: Installation of water-quality sensors upstream of S-79 in May 2014. Temperature, specific conductance, turbidity, fluorescence of dissolved organic matter and nitrate (via a Satlantic SUNA) will be monitored at 15 minute intervals. Discrete samples for carbon and nitrate will be collected on a monthly basis. Nitrate samples will be analyzed by the National Water Quality Lab. Dissolved organic carbon samples will be analyzed by George Aiken. Begin development of models using sensor data as proxies for carbon and nitrate and computations of nitrate and carbon loads.

Specific Task Products:

  1. Conference and workshop presentations on progress and results as needed.

Title of Task: Monitoring surface water - ground water interactions at Port of the Islands (POI) in relation to Manatee thermal Refugia within the POI boat basin.
Task Leaders: Amanda Booth
Phone: 239-275-8448
FAX: 239-275-6820
Task priority: high
Task Personnel: Andy Erickson and Ryan Hollins

Task Summary and Objective(s): The objective of this task is to describe current seasonal patterns and interactions between groundwater and surface water at Port of The Islands boat basin, and the effect on winter temperature setting at the boat basin. These activities will include the recording of temperature profiles at a warm-water hole frequented by manatees during the winter months.

Work to be undertaken during the proposal year and a description of the methods and procedures: Temperature data will be recorded in the water at set intervals from 0.5 ft. into the muck, to just below the water surface; one sensor will record air temperature; and specific conductance data will be recorded near the surface and bottom.Continuous monitoring will begin in November 2013 and continue through March 31, 2014

Specific Task Products:

  1. Specific conductance and temperature (near surface and near bottom), as well as temperature at 8 locations (1 ft intervals) throughout the water column will be collected at the Port of the Islands Boat Basin, within the Faka Union Canal.
  2. Conference and workshop presentations on progress and results as needed.

References cited:

Soderqvist, L.E., and Patino, Eduardo, 2010, Seasonal and spatial distribution of freshwater flow and salinity in the Ten Thousand Islands Estuary, Florida, 2007-2009: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 501, 24 p. http://pubs.usgs.gov/ds/501/

Wagner, R.J., Boulger, Jr., R.W., Oblinger, C.J., and Smith, B.A. 2006, Guidelines and standard procedures for continuous water-quality monitors: Station operation, record computation, and data reporting: U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods 1-D3, 51 p. http://pubs.usgs.gov/tm/2006/tm1D3/


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Last updated: 11 June, 2015 @ 10:16 AM (KP)