projects > southwest florida coastal and wetland systems monitoring > 2001 Proposal
Project Proposal for 2001
Continuing Project Work Plan - FY 2001
Scope and Objectives:
Hydrologic information throughout the Everglades ecosystem is key to the development of restoration strategies and for future evaluation of restoration results. There are significant hydrologic information gaps throughout the Everglades wetlands and estuaries that need to be addressed, particularly along Floridas southwest coast. Among these gaps are flow, water level, and salinity data. This project, in conjunction with the Everglades National Parks (ENP) marine monitoring network, will provide water level, salinity, and flow information at key points within the mangrove zone along the southwest coast of ENP. This project will also include a wetland component designed to provide water level, salinity, and "sheetflow" velocity at selected points within the "sloughs" (flow paths) flowing into the estuaries. Hydrodynamic modelers of the Everglades, Florida Bay, southwest coast estuaries, and other adjacent marine systems, will use these data to calibrate and verify models describing flow patterns throughout ENP.
The objective of this project is to describe the salinity patterns in relation to freshwater inflows to the estuaries and tidal exchange with the Gulf of Mexico, to provide support for the USGS Tides and Inflows in the Mangroves of the Everglades model (TIME) and to programs like the Everglades Long Term Ecological Research (LTER). Additionally, other federal and state agencies, universities, and local institutions conducting research in the area will be give access to all the information generated though this study. This study will quantify water discharge, describe hydrodynamic characteristics of estuarine rivers of southwest Everglades National Park, and provide necessary information for the development and calibration of the TIME hydrodynamic model. The data collection network established through this project will include the following types and number of stations:
The study area encompasses the estuarine and wetland regions from White Water Bay near Flamingo to Chokoloskee Bay near Everglades City as shown in figure 1. The results of this study will provide information on freshwater inflows and salinity trends, effects of weather systems, and on how Everglades restoration projects affect the discharge and water quality of the estuarine ecosystem.
The following sections describe the methods and techniques used for collection and anal-ysis of all field data in order to describe freshwater flow patterns along the estuaries of southwest Florida. Data collection at all flow sites includes continuous (15-minute interval) mea-surements of water level, water velocity, salinity, temperature, and calibration measurements of discharge (no discharge measurements at wetland sites). Data collection at water level sites will include continuous (15-minute interval) mea-surements of water level, salinity, temperature. Most continuous data are recorded and transmit-ted every 4 hours by way of Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) into the database of the USGS Miami Subdistrict office. Stations at which transmission of data is not possible not required, data will be logged, retrieved, and stored into the database of the USGS Miami Subdistrict office.
Information from this study will provide necessary information on freshwater flow from Everglades National Park (ENP) and Big Cypress Preserve (BCP), to the estuaries of southwest Florida. Much of this information has not been previously available to natural resource managers. Such information is critical for quantitatively determining the freshwater flows throughout the southwestern part of ENP and BCP. The water level, water velocity, flow, salinity, and temperature data can be used in conjunction with data from many other ongoing efforts to help determine the effects of changes in water deliveries to ENP and BCP, and into the estuaries of southwest Florida. Flow is closely related to sediment transport, salinity, and chemical characteristics of these estuaries, which in turn, have great influence on the biology of the area. Additionally, this information is and will continue to be used as input to hydrodynamic models of ENP and coastal areas, and for water-budget determinations for south Florida. Such models and computations will be substantially more dependable and reliable because of the availability of water level, flow, and salinity data from this project. In turn, decisions regarding restoration activities based on scenario testing from such models and computations are also more reliable. As the restoration process proceeds, it will be critical to continue monitoring flow patterns in order to understand the effects of changing water supply quantity and source into the wetlands of ENP and BCP.
The primary users of information generated by this study are the following agencies and institutions:
WORK PLAN for FY 2001
Activities, Deliverables and Products: