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projects > freshwater flows to northeastern florida bay greater everglades restoration and estuarine response to cerp > work plan

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projects > hydrological conditions of mangrove lakes region of everglades national park > work plan

Project Work Plan

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

Study Title: Freshwater Flows to Northeastern Florida Bay Greater Everglades Restoration and Estuarine Response to CERP. Cape Sable Dam Restoration Project Monitoring, Hydrologic conditions of Mangrove Lakes Region of ENP, (associated project Coastal Gradients of Flow, Salinity, and Nutrients)
Current Study Start Date: FY1995 Current Study End Date: TBD
Location (Subregions, Counties, Park, or Refuge): Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties, Everglades National Park, Big Cypress Natural Preserve.
Funding Source: USGS Greater Everglades Priority Ecosystems Science (USGS GEPES) Program. NPS Critical Ecosystem Science Initiative (CESI), Map RECOVER USACE, SFWMD.
Funding History: FY98; FY99; FY00 (PBS+CESI); FY01 (PBS+COE); FY02 (PBS+COE); FY03 (PBS+COE); FY04 (PES+COE); FY05 (PES+COE); FY06 (PES+COE, ENP-CESI); FY07 (PBS+COE, ENP-CESI); FY08 (PBS+COE); FY09 (PBS+COE), FY10 (PBS+COE), FY11 (PBS+COE), FY12 (PBS+COE), FY13 (PBS+COE+NPS), FY14 (PBS+COE+NPS+SFWMD)
FY14 USGS Funding:
Principal Investigator: Mark Zucker and Ed Patino
Supporting Organizations: USACE, NPS EVER, South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), Florida International University (FIU)

Overview & Objective(s):

The project objectives are to:

  1. Determine the quantity, timing and distribution of freshwater flow through estuarine creeks into northeastern Florida Bay before and after the CERP restoration. Collected data will compliment project monitoring associated with the C-111 Spreader Canal Project and Florida Bay MFL.
  2. Provide sediment transport information between Lake Ingraham and the interior wetlands.
  3. Provide ground water elevation and water quality information along Taylor slough and the southwest coast of ENP.
  4. Provide up to 120 days of real-time hydrologic data for our cooperators, the scientific community, and the public
  5. Release published 15 minute data on the South Florida Information Access web portal (SOFIA) via the South Florida Hydrology Data Download (http://sofia.usgs.gov/exchange/zucker_woods_patino/index.php). Published instantaneous and daily data can be access via the USGS National Water Information System (NWISWeb) web portal starting in October 2007
  6. Continue the use and testing of acoustic technology for measuring flow in estuarine systems and use and test water quality monitors to improve the computation of continuous water quality records and water quality surrogates (i.e. temperature, salinity, turbidity, suspended sediment)
  7. Participate in the USGS Surface Water and Hydroacoustics Conference, GEER, NCER, CERP module meetings, the Water Quality Instrumentation Committee (QWIC) and more
  8. Continue scientific collaborations with various federal, state, and local agencies
  9. Provide scientific findings and published data to be included in the CERP System Status Report

Specific Relevance to Major Unanswered Questions and Information Needs Identified:

Flow, water-level, salinity, and temperature data are collected at the estuarine creeks that connect the Everglades wetland with northeastern Florida Bay. The project provides flow data to address the quantity, quality, timing, and distribution of flow to Florida Bay and the southwest coast of Florida. Addressing the nutrient budget of Florida Bay requires accurate flow data. Various agencies use published hydrologic and water quality data to answer specific research questions that directly benefit the Everglades restoration effort (e.g. SFWMD South Florida Environmental Report (SFER), Southern Coastal Systems module, hydrologic and water quality models).

This study supports several of the projects listed in the Department of the Interior (DOI) science plan (specifically, the C-111 Spreader Canal and Florida Bay and Florida Keys Feasibility Study) by (1) providing baseline hydrologic data for model calibration and verification, and for resource management (e.g. salinity performance measures); (2) providing long-term hydrologic and water quality data to determine trends in hydrologic response to storms, sea level rise, and CERP restoration; (3) quantifying discharge at estuarine creeks to answer quantity, timing and distribution issue; (4) quantifying discharge at estuarine creeks to compute nutrient loads; (5) providing temperature data for biological and climate change studies; and (6) providing salinity data for assessment purposes (e.g. performance measures).

Three restoration questions were stated in the executive summary of the DOI Science plan (p. 1) and maximizing cost-share opportunities and science coordination were emphasized. This study supports restoration question 1: "What actions will improve the quantity, timing, and distribution of clean freshwater needed to restore the South Florida ecosystem?" The coastal monitoring network provides flow data for the majority of estuarine creeks in northeastern Florida Bay as well as the southwest coast of Florida. The timing and distribution of freshwater deliveries to northeastern Florida Bay has been documented since 1996. In 2003, the USGS was funded to compute nutrient loads at selected stations in northeastern Florida Bay and along the southwest coast of Florida. The coastal network has provided discharge data to the scientific community to develop nutrient budgets (Rudnick, 1999; Sutula and others, 2003; Davis, 2004; Levesque, 2004).

USGS synthesis teams have been coordinated to assess nutrient flux to South Florida coastal ecosystems (McPherson and others, 2006) and to conduct data mining and modeling to separate human and natural hydrologic dynamics (Conrads and others, 2005). The need to comprehensively address recent algal blooms in Blackwater Sound and adjacent basins has fostered a collaborative effort between the USGS and federal, state, and local partners to determine the source of the problem and understand the persistence of the blooms (SFWMD, 2006). More recently, synoptic studies using USGS flow data have been performed to evaluate mercury fluxes to Florida Bay and the southwest coast of Florida (Rumbold and others, 2011; Bergamaschi and other, 2012).

The DOI science plan has provided four criteria for prioritizing the science needs for restoration and resource management (p. 11). The criteria and the applicability of the Freshwater Flows to Northeastern Florida Bay project to each are summarized below.

1) The relevance of the science effort to improving understanding of the ecological and hydrological processes affecting DOI lands and resources. This project has been tasked since 1995 to develop techniques to measure and compute continuous discharge affected by wind and tide along the South Florida coast. Methods have been developed to quantify coastal discharges (Hittle and others, 2001; Morlock and others, 2002) and published data has been shared with the scientific community to improve our understanding of the south Florida estuaries. Additional research benefits include the methods development for nutrient loads at three estuarine creeks (Shoemaker and others 2005); the evaluation of estuarine creek responses during the 2004-2005 hurricane season (Woods and others 2006); and the evaluation of minimum flows and levels in Florida Bay using real-time data from the NWIS (http://waterdata.usgs.gov/fl/nwis/rt). More recently, the availability of real-time tidally filtered flows are being utilized by universities to continuously update forecast models run by the University of South Florida.

2) The applicability of the science to multiple DOI restoration objectives or multiple projects. The continuation of the coastal monitoring network as well as the publishing of the data on SOFIA is critical as Everglades restoration continues. This project provides data sets for (1) various modeling efforts (SICS, TIME, Florida Bay Hydrodynamic Model, Fathom) utilized by the USGS, USACE, ENP, SFWMD, and FIU; (2) calculation of nutrient loads by FIU and SFWMD; and (3) salinity box modeling by Marshall and others (2002) and Nuttle (2002); (4) real-time data to the SFWMD to evaluate the Minimum Flows and Levels program and the SFWMD South Florida Environmental Report; and (5) CERP restoration projects such as the C-111 Spreader Canal Project. In addition, research on mercury loads to Florida Bay and the southwest coast of Florida utilized computed flow data (Rumbold and others 2011). More recently, the availability of flow data prior to and after the 2005 hurricane season was critical for the assessment of recent algal blooms along US-1 near Key Largo (SFWMD, 2006).

3) Synthesis and sequencing to address the most urgent management information needs. The project supports various synthesis and modeling efforts. Examples of USGS synthesis projects include the Compilation, Integration, and Synthesis of Water Quality and Flow Data for Assessing Nutrient Flux to South Florida Coastal Ecosystems project, and the Hydrology Monitoring Network: Data Mining and Modeling to Separate Human and Natural Hydrologic Dynamics project, and the Coastal Optimization Study. Other synthesis projects utilizing USGS data include (1) the SFWMD South Florida Environmental Report; (2) the FIU Long Term Ecological Research, Florida Coastal Everglades project; (3) the Florida Bay and Florida Keys Feasibility Study.

4) Maximization of cost-share opportunities and science coordination across bureaus or with DOI's CERP partners. The northeastern Florida Bay coastal network is one component of a larger network that includes the GEPES funded Southwest Florida Coastal and Wetland Systems Monitoring project and the USACE RECOVER funded Coastal Gradients of Flow, Salinity, and Nutrients project. These co-related projects have allowed for a more sustainable program than would otherwise be possible. In FY14, funding from NPS Critical Ecosystem Science Initiative and the SFWMD provided funding and equipment to support the Mangrove Lakes Project. These funding sources have allowed the USGS GEPES to commit to sustainable partnership over the last 19 years.

This study supports the C-111 Spreader Canal (p. 71), as it provides (1) baseline and post restoration project data for change detection and modeling, (2) flow data at the coast for water quality assessments, and (3) hydrologic data to calibrate/verify models.

The USGS Science in the Decade 2007-2017 Circular 1309 report introduces six science based themes. Two science based themes (1) Understanding ecosystem and predicting ecosystem change: and (2) climate variability and charge are relevant to Everglade's restoration. An important step to understanding critical ecosystems includes monitoring, assessment, and evaluation of trends within the natural ecosystem through the use of objective, scientifically based methods (p, 5). Climate change is an important process to account for, especially as Everglades restoration continues into the future. The report highlighted the importance of creating, expanding, and modernizing observation networks using new technologies for long-term observations that respond to climate change (p. 18). This project operates and maintains a coastal network that compliments other data networks that address ecosystem change and evaluate the impact of climate change on south Florida. The coastal network can accommodate new emerging technologies, address relevant scientific inquiries, and promote collaborative science to address ecosystem and climate change.

Planned Products for FY14:

(1) Operate and maintain monitoring stations for the collection of water level, water velocity, specific conductance, salinity, temperature, and turbidity. Data will be transmitted hourly via the NWISWeb. Data will be computed, checked, and published according to USGS continuous records processing.

(2) Perform discharge measurements using an acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP). Discharge measurements are publically available via the NWISWeb. Continue to develop and verify index velocity ratings used to quantify creek flow.

(3) Publish unit values of water level, flow, specific condutance, temperature, and turbidity for water year 2014 available on (South Florida Hydrology Data Download no later than April 2015.

(4) Site Data Sheets for water year 2013 were published in the Annual Water Data Report (http://wdr.water.usgs.gov/). Site data sheets will be discontinued in water year 2014.

(5) Provide published data upon request to the scientific community and the general public. Continue to collaborate with the south Florida scientific community, specifically the SFWMD and the Southern Coastal System Module to provide data and scientific results to be published in the SFER and CERP System Status Report, respectively. List of data requests available upon request

(6) Provide annual report as part of the MAP deliverables and ENP field permit.

Work Plan

Title of Task 1: Freshwater flows into Northeast Florida Bay
Task Funding: USGS Greater Everglades Priority Ecosystems Science (GEPES)
Task Leaders: Mark Zucker and Ed Patino
Phone: 954-377-5952, 239-275-8448
FAX: 954-377-5901
Task Priority: Gaging Freshwater Flows into Northeastern Florida Bay (HIGH)
Task Personnel: Eric Carlson, Carrie Boudreau, Amarys Acosta, Corey Whittaker, Travis Brindise, and Sean Raabe.

Work to be undertaken during the proposal year and a description of the methods and procedures:

Please see the methods discussed on the USGS South Florida Information Access Data Exchange web portal (http://sofia.usgs.gov/exchange/zucker_woods_patino/method.html) or selected references listed throughout this work plan.

Specific Task Products and delivery dates:

(1) Published unit values of water level, discharge, salinity, and temperature for water year 2013 were made available on SOFIA by April 2014. Filtered daily mean discharge will be published on the NWIS database for tidally affected sites.

(2) Daily minimum and maximum values of salinity and temperature will be published on NWIS.

(3) Site Data Sheets will be published in the Annual Water Data Report (http://wdr.water.usgs.gov/) by March 31, 2013.

Title of Task 2: Cape Sable Dam Restoration Project
Task Funding: USGS Greater Everglades Priority Ecosystems Science (GEPES), NPS CESI
Task Leaders: Mark Zucker
Phone: 954-377-5952
FAX: 954-377-5901
Task priority: High
Task Status (proposed or active): Active and ongoing
Task Personnel: Carrie Boudreau, Amarys Acosta, and Sean Raabe.

Real-time monitoring of water level, flow, salinity, temperature, turbidity, and suspended sediment are ongoing at East Side Creek and the Raulerson Brothers Canal.

Work to be undertaken during the proposal year and a description of the methods and procedures: Please see the methods discussed on the USGS South Florida Information Access Data Exchange web portal (http://sofia.usgs.gov/exchange/zucker_woods_patino/method.html) or selected references listed throughout this work plan.

Specific Task Product(s):

(1) Provisional data generated through this task will be made available through NWIS on a continuous basis.

(2) Publish unit values of water level, discharge, salinity, and temperature for water year 2013 available on (South Florida Hydrology Data Download no later than April 2014

(3) Provide estimates of net discharge for water year 2013 on NWIS by April 2014.

Title of Task 3: Ground water level and water quality monitoring along the southwest coast of ENP and Taylor Slough.
Task Funding: USGS Greater Everglades Priority Ecosystems Science (GEPES), EDEN, COE
Task Leaders: Mark Zucker
Phone: 954-377-5952
FAX: 954-377-5901
Task Status (proposed or active): Active and ongoing
Task priority: High
Task Personnel: Eric Carlson, Carrie Boudreau, Amarys Acosta, Corey Whittaker, Travis Brindise, and Sean Raabe.

Task Summary and Objectives:

The EDEN network has funded the operation of the real-time ground water level sensors at MO-214, MO-215, and MO-216. The USGS FTL office will operate and publish the water level data as well as the continuous temperature and specific conductance data. The water level data is critical for the surface elevation modeling by the EDEN project. The discrete and continuous water quality data will be used to assess changes in saltwater intrusion as a result of changes in flow, storms, and sea level rise. The ongoing data collection in water year 2014 will add value to historical data collected by the Land Margin Study.

Work to be undertaken during the proposal year and a description of the methods and procedures: Please see the methods discussed on the USGS South Florida Information Access Data Exchange web portal (http://sofia.usgs.gov/exchange/zucker_woods_patino/method.html) or selected references listed throughout this work plan.

Specific Task Product(s):

(1) Continuous data will be made available through NWISWeb hourly. Data will be computed checked, and published following continuous records processing.

(2) Publish unit values of water level, specific conductance, and temperature for water year 2015 available on (South Florida Hydrology Data Download no later than April 2015

(3) Provide published data upon request to the scientific community and the general public. Continue to collaborate with the south Florida scientific community, specifically the SFWMD and the Southern Coastal System Module to provide data and scientific results to be published in the SFER and CERP System Status Report, respectively

(4) Provide annual report as part of the MAP deliverables and ENP permit process

Title of Task 4: Mangrove Lakes Study
Task Funding: USGS Greater Everglades Priority Ecosystems Science (GEPES), SFWMD, NPS, FIU.
Task Leaders: Mark Zucker
Phone: 954-377-5952
FAX: 954-377-5901
Task Status (proposed or active): New
Task priority: High
Task Personnel: Carrie Boudreau, Amarys Acosta, Travis Brindise, and Eric Carlson.

Task Summary and Objectives:

Existing data will be obtained from existing USGS stations at Alligator Creek, McCormick Creek, and Seven Palm Lake to support the development of a water budget. Three additional flow meters have been installed at the Oyster Creek, West Lake Outlet, and Cuthbert Lake Outlet. Continuous water level measurements will be collected at each of the large lakes (West, Cuthbert, Long, and Seven) along with discharge measurements made every-other month.

Work to be undertaken during the proposal year and a description of the methods and procedures: Please see the methods discussed on the USGS South Florida Information Access Data Exchange web portal (http://sofia.usgs.gov/exchange/zucker_woods_patino/method.html) or selected references listed throughout this work plan.

Specific Task Product(s):

(1) Continuous data will be made stored internally and made publicly available through NWISWeb. Data will be computed checked, and published following continuous records processing standards.

(2) Publish unit values of water level, specific conductance, and temperature for water year 2014 available on (South Florida Hydrology Data Download no later than April 2015.

(3) Provide published data upon request to the scientific community and the general public. Continue to collaborate with the south Florida scientific community, specifically the SFWMD, FIU, and NPS to complete the final report deliverable.

(4) Provide 2 installation letter reports, quarterly reports to FIU and NPS, and a final annual permit report.

References

Bergamaschi, B. A.; Krabbenhoft, D. P.; Aiken, G. R.; Patino, E.; Rumbold, D. G.; Orem, W. H., 2012, Tidally driven export of dissolved organic carbon, total mercury, and methylmercury from a mangrove-dominated estuary: Environmental Science and Technology, 46: 1371 - 1378.

Conrads, P.A., Roehl, E., 2005, Analysis of the process physics of tributaries to Florida Bay using artificial neural networks and three-dimensional response surfaces in Proceedings from the Florida Bay and Adjacent Marine Systems Conference, Hawk's Cay Resort, December 11-14, 2005.

Davis, S.E. III, Cable, J.E., Childers, D.L., Coronado-Molina, Carlos., Day, J.W., Hittle, C.D., Madden, C.J., Reyes, E., Rudnick, D., and Sklar, F., 2004, Importance of storm events in controlling ecosystem structure and function in a Florida Gulf Coast estuary: Journal of Coastal Research, v. 20, no. 3, p. 263-273.

Davis, S., Childers, C., Rugge, M., Woods, Jeff, and Zucker, Mark, 2006, Hurricane/storm driven hydrology and materials exchange in the estuarine transition zone of the Florida Coastal Everglades (FCE) in Proceedings from the 2006 LTER All Scientists Conference at Estes Park, Colorado (September 20 - 23, 2006).

Hittle, C.D., Patino, Eduardo, and Zucker, Mark, 2001, Freshwater flow from estuarine creeks into northeastern Florida Bay: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigation Report 01-4164, 32 p.

Levesque, V.A., 2004, Water flow and nutrient flux from five estuarine rivers along the Southwest Coast of Everglades National Park, Florida, 1997-2001: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 04-5142, 24 p.

Marshall, F.E. III, Smith, Dewitt, and Nickerson, David, 2003, Salinity simulation models for north Florida Bay, Everglades National Park, in Proceedings from the Joint Conference on the Science and Restoration of the Greater Everglades and Florida Bay Ecosystem Conference, Palm Harbor, Florida, April 13-18, 2003 p. 53.

McPherson, B.F., and Torres, A.E., 2006, Freshwater and Nutrient Fluxes to Coastal Waters of Everglades National Park-A Synthesis: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2006-3076, 4 p.

Morlock, S.E., Nguyen, H.T., and Ross, J.H., 2002, Feasibility of acoustic Doppler velocity meters for the production of discharge records from U.S. Geological Survey streamflow-gaging stations: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 01-4157.

Nuttle, W.K., 2002, Salinity-based performance measures project: Report #6: Estuarine salinity models in the Taylor Slough/C111 area: Technical Report Prepared for Everglades National Park.

Rudnick, D.T., Childers, D.L., Fontaine, T.D. III, 1999, Phosphorus and nitrogen inputs to Florida Bay: The importance of the Everglades watershed: Estuaries, v. 22, no. 2B, p. 398-416.

Rumbold, Darren, and others, 2011, Source Identification of Florida Bay's Methylmercury Problem: Mainland Runoff Versus Atmospheric Deposition and In situ Production: Estuaries and Coasts, 34:494-513. http://sofia.usgs.gov/publications/papers/mehg_source/index.html

Shoemaker, B.S., Zucker, Mark, and Stumpner, Paul, 2005, Estimates of Nutrient Loads at West Highway Creek in Northeastern Florida Bay, in Proceedings from the Florida Bay and Adjacent Marine Systems Conference, Hawk's Cay Resort December 11-14, 2005.

South Florida Water Management District, 2006, Report on Algae Blooms in Eastern Florida Bay and Southern Bay: West Palm Beach, Technical report Prepared by the Coastal Ecosystems Division.

Sutula, M.A., Perez, B.C., Reyes, E., Childers, D.L., Davis, S., Day, J.R., Rudnick, D., and Sklar, F., 2003, Factors affecting spatial and temporal variability in material exchange between the Southern Everglades wetlands and Florida Bay (USA): Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science. v. 57, p. 757-781.

Woods, Jeff, and Zucker, Mark, 2006, Northeastern Florida Bay Estuarine Creek Response During the 2004-05 Hurricane Season, in Proceedings from the 2006 Greater Everglades Ecosystem Restoration Conference, Lake Buena Vista, Florida June 5-9, 2006.

Zucker, Mark, 2003, Using Hydrologic Correlation as a Tool to Estimate Flow at Non-Instrumented Estuarine Creeks in Northeastern Florida Bay, in Proceedings from the Joint Conference on the Science and Restoration of the Greater Everglades and Florida Bay Ecosystem Conference, Palm Harbor, Florida, April 13-18, 2003).

Zucker, Mark, Woods, Jeff, 2006, Northeastern Florida Bay Estuarine and Joe Bay Estuarine Creek Data, 2001-2005, in Proceedings from the 2006 Greater Everglades Ecosystem Restoration Conference, Lake Buena Vista, Florida.


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