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projects > hydrologic monitoring in joe bay > 2004 Proposal

Hydrologic monitoring in Joe Bay, Everglades National Park

April 30, 2004

Mark Zucker
9100 NW 36 ST. Suite 107
Miami, FL 33178
Phone: 305-717-5852
Fax: 305-717-5801
Clinton Hittle
9100 NW 36 ST. Suite 107
Miami, FL 33178
Phone: 305-717-5815
Fax: 305-717-5801

Research Area
Restoration Goal 1: Get the Water Right
Subgoal 1-A: Get the Hydrology Right

Dates of Project: FY2004 - 2006

Abstract:

Joe Bay is the primary hydrologic connection between the freshwater Everglades and northeastern Florida Bay. Flow and salinity monitoring by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has determined that Trout Creek is the largest contributor of freshwater flow to northeastern Florida Bay and is connected to Joe Bay (Hittle and others 2001). Sources of freshwater to Joe Bay include Taylor Slough and the C-111 Canal. Hydrologic parameters such as water level, discharge, and salinity observations in conjunction with water quality sampling have been useful in determining contributions of freshwater flow from Taylor Slough and C-111 Canal to Joe Bay (Zucker 2003). Hourly salinity data has been collected at four locations in Joe Bay since May 1999. In 2001, three index velocity stations were installed at Joe Bay 2E, Joe Bay 5C, and Joe Bay 8W (Fig 1). The current monitoring network in Joe Bay can assist with determining the effect upstream restoration efforts have on the timing and distribution of freshwater flows into northeastern Florida Bay. As the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) moves towards implementation, the need for baseline data for projects such as the C-111 Spreader Canal Project is critical. Unfortunately, the Joe Bay network is not currently funded and will be discontinued this fiscal year.

location map and photos of Joe Bay monitoring stations
Figure 1: Location of Joe Bay monitoring stations. [larger image]

Project description:

Joe Bay is located within northeastern Florida Bay, which is a shallow subtropical estuary that averages about one meter in depth and is confined by small islands known as keys, mud-banks, and mangrove habitats. Florida Bay is the southern boundary of Everglades National Park and is bordered by the Florida Keys to the east and the Gulf of Mexico to the west. Florida Bay is also part of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, a protected area for marine resources such as coral reefs, manatees, pink shrimp, and other endangered species. In 1980, Everglades National Park designated portions of northeastern Florida Bay including Joe Bay as a crocodile sanctuary.

Joe Bay, including the headwaters of Taylor Slough, the C-111 Basin, and portions of the South Dade Conveyance System (SDCS) equals roughly 1105 km2. Joe Bay, a major source of interest for freshwater flow, encompasses roughly 28.4 km2. Freshwater runoff and rainfall occur historically during the rainy season between the months of May and October causing salinity in northeastern Florida Bay to change from marine-like conditions (salinity > 35 ppt) to estuarine or near freshwater conditions. Before the SDCS was constructed, freshwater flow into ENP and Florida Bay was primarily derived from rainfall that originated from the Rocky Glades (Johnson et al. 1988). Examination of hydrologic records prior to canal construction indicated that higher water levels in the headwaters of Taylor Slough extended the period of sheet flow and groundwater flow to Florida Bay (Van Lent et a1. 1993, McIvor et al. 1994). Water levels have been significantly reduced in the study area as a result of canal construction for flood control and the majority of freshwater entering the northern portion of the study area originates from the C-111 Canal (Fig. 2).

graph of historical discharges at Taylor Slough Bridge, S-332, and C-111 Canal from 1961 to 1999
Figure 2: Historical discharges at Taylor Slough Bridge, S-332, and C-111 Canal from 1961 to 1999. [larger image]

In 1995, the USGS initiated a project to monitor freshwater flow and salinity along the coast of northeastern Florida Bay. Fifteen-minute velocity, stage, salinity, and temperature data were collected initially at five stations. It has been determined that Trout Creek is the main freshwater source to northeastern Florida Bay (Fig. 3). Trout Creek contributes approximately 50 percent of the total measured freshwater flow to northeastern Florida Bay (Hittle and others 2001). In May 1999, a study to understand the source of freshwater to Joe Bay was conducted (Zucker 2003). Continuous salinity data, water quality sampling, and flow measurements were useful for determining source water. The results from these studies including the continuation of the monitoring stations have complemented other areas of research such as nutrient and mercury loading, hydrodynamic model calibration and verification, and salinity performance measures.

graph of monthly flow distribution in northeastern Florida Bay from 1996-2002
Figure 3: Monthly Flow distribution in northeastern Florida Bay from 1996-2002. [larger image]

Study Objectives

  1. To continue the collection of water level and velocity data at JB2E and JB8W (Table 1).
  2. To continue the collection of salinity and temperature data at JB1E, JB2E, JB5C, and JB8W.
  3. To compute discharge at JB2E and JB8W.
  4. Provide access to published hydrologic data through the SOFIA web site.
Table 1: Station coordinates and instrumentation used in Joe Bay.
Station Latitude Longitude Instrumentation
Joe Bay 1E 25°13'38" 80°31'26" YSI (Salinity/Temperature)
Joe Bay 2E 25°13'55" 80°31'28" YSI (Salinity/Temperature), ADVM
Joe Bay 5C 25°14'38" 80°33'35" YSI (Salinity/Temperature)
Joe Bay 8W 25°13'22" 80°35'25" YSI (Salinity/Temperature), ADVM

Restoration Applications

  1. To provide researchers and resource managers with critical hydrologic data
    Mercury loading to northeastern Florida Bay is a major issue for biological integrity and human health. Discharge data collected in Joe Bay allows South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) researchers to evaluate mercury loading from eastern Taylor Slough to Joe Bay and ultimately northeastern Florida Bay (Everglades Consolidated Report 2003). Discharge data collected in eastern Joe Bay 2E is a critical component for the FIU/LTER program to evaluate how “long-term changes in freshwater flow controls the magnitude of nutrients and organic matter inputs the estuarine zone” (FIU/LTER http://fcelter.fiu.edu/).

  2. The Joe Bay network was designed to evaluate the spatial and temporal characteristics of flow and salinity to and from Joe Bay before and after CERP project implementation
    The timing and distribution of flow to Joe Bay, Trout Creek and ultimately northeastern Florida Bay, is a function of rainfall to the watershed, flow from the C-111 Canal, and flow from Taylor Slough. Changes in salinity within Joe Bay are related to natural weather patterns, water management activities, tropical storms, hurricanes, and flood control activities. Salinity data has been collected in Joe Bay from May 1999 to December 2003 (Fig. 4).

    graph of daily mean values of salinity collected in Joe Bay from May 1999 to December 2003
    Figure 4: Daily mean values of salinity collected in Joe Bay from May 1999 to December 2003 [larger image]

  3. Water level, flow, and salinity data are useful for model calibration and verification
    Over four years of salinity and temperature data and two years of water level and discharge data have been collected in Joe Bay. The USGS, SFWMD, ENP, and private firms are utilizing hydrologic data collected in Joe Bay to calibrate or verify models. The USGS is using salinity data from Joe Bay as a verification data set for Southern Inland Coastal Systems (SICS) model. SFWMD has also recently requested hydrologic data collected from Joe Bay to assist with the development of a hydro-dynamic model of Florida Bay (Bennet Personal Commun., Swain and others 2003).

Methods

  1. Water Level Computations
    Water level data is collected using an acoustic Doppler velocity meter (ADVM). An upward looking acoustic sensor provides depth data which is converted to water level using the relation of ADVM measured depth to observed water level. Site elevations in NAVD '88 have been determined by the USGS national mapping division in 2002 (USGS 2003).
  2. Salinity and Temperature Analysis
    Salinity and temperature data are currently collected using a Yellow Springs Incorp. (YSI) Optical Monitoring System (OMS) sensor. Sensors are deployed and housed in an open-ended, PVC mount to reduce bio-fouling. Hourly data is stored internally and downloaded using a YSI 650 hand-held monitoring unit. Sensors are evaluated monthly for bio-fouling and electronic drift and corrected accordingly. All YSI sensors are calibrated to laboratory determined specific conductance standards provided by the USGS Ocala Water Quality and Research Laboratory (OWQRL). Temperature sensors are verified by performing in-situ profiles and bucket comparisons against a reference sensor.
  3. Discharge computations
    Discharge in bi-directional estuarine rivers is determined by developing a velocity index rating. Velocity index ratings use the combination of in-situ velocity measurements collected every fifteen minutes by the ADVM while the cross-sectional area is determined using water level data. The cross-sectional area rating is created using an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) to define the cross-sectional characteristics of the estuarine stream (width and depths) for a given water level. Changes in the cross-sectional area are directly related to changes in water level over time. The ADVM provides an average horizontal velocity measurement at a fixed depth. The ADVM is then calibrated to represent the mean channel velocity by first determining the channel discharge and dividing by the cross-sectional area. A simple linear regression between the ADVM velocity and the ADCP mean measured velocity over a range of conditions is performed to develop an equation to relate the ADVM velocity to the mean channel velocity. More detailed index velocity rating techniques are available in Hittle and others (2003). Field data is acquired during field trips and is uploaded from field computers to personal computers upon arrival to the office. All data files are quality assured prior to uploading to the USGS database.
    The Joe Bay network is visited on a monthly basis and is dependent on weather conditions and access as deemed by ENP. Sites may be visited more frequently in the event of a station problem or a planned synoptic survey.

Anticipated Results

Rainfall, tropical storms, hurricanes, and water management activities drive flow and salinity patterns in Joe Bay. In general, the transition from the dry season to the wet season is driven by increased rainfall and flow from drainage canals, while storm related flows is dominated by rainfall inputs from Taylor Slough (Zucker 2003). As CERP related engineering project activities continue, concerns over the amount of available freshwater to be delivered to the southern Everglades and ultimately northeastern Florida Bay is unknown. Project objectives of the C-111 Spreader Canal Project relevant to Joe Bay include improving native plant and animal species abundance and diversity and the elimination of ecologically damaging flows through C-111 to Barnes Sound and Florida Bay (USACE 2002). Several of the Florida Bay, Florida Keys Feasibility Study (FBFKFS) objectives are applicable to Joe Bay as well. For example, the FBFKFS has been tasked to determine the quantity, timing, and distribution of freshwater to Florida Bay and determine nutrient sources and loads to the study area…” (USACE 2002).

The impact or benefit of implementing the above projects on the hydrology of Joe Bay is unknown. Higher salinity maxima may be observed during the dry season as a result of altered hydroperiods. The planned diversion of freshwater flow eastward to the C-111 Spreader Canal may alter flow and salinity patterns in Joe Bay and ultimately, Florida Bay. The elimination of flood control structures such as the C-111 Canal could impact the timing and distribution of flow to Joe Bay following tropical storms and hurricanes as well as change the salinity patterns in Joe Bay and northeastern Florida Bay. Changes in nutrient and mercury concentration, as well as loadings to Joe Bay and northeastern Florida Bay, is a concern as CERP related projects are implemented. Water quality benefits may be observed as storm treatment areas (STA's) are constructed and operational but the overall effect of STA's on water quality in Joe Bay and Florida Bay is unknown.

Issue Resolution Plans

Permit requirements:

Construction permits for monitoring stations in Joe Bay were issued by Everglades National Park in 1999 (permit number EVER-2003-SCI-0037), as part of the “Freshwater Flows to northeastern Florida Bay Project”. All sites in Joe Bay are accessible by a 15-foot Boston Whaler motorboat. Permits also allow for the collection of water quality samples.

Safety:

All project personnel are certified DOI Motorboat Operator Certified (MOCC) and are familiar with the field logistics and procedures. All project personnel are certified in CPR, first aid, and defensive driving which is updated every three years.

Related Projects

  • U.S.G.S - Priority Ecosystem Science Projects (PES), Freshwater Flows to Northeastern Florida Bay, Southwest Coast Flows Project, TIME Modeling, SICS Modeling, Other USGS Projects
  • U.S.G.S - Monitoring and Assessment Program (USACE MAP), Coastal Gradients Project
  • U.S.G.S. - Critical Ecosystem Studies Initiative (CESI), Pink Shrimp Project
  • Florida International University - Long Term Ecological Research (LTER)
  • South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) and Department of Environmental Resources Management (DERM) - Seagrass Studies
  • USACE - CERP, Florida Bay Feasibility Study, C-111 Spreader Canal Project
  • Everglades National Park - Marine Monitoring Network
  • SFWMD water quality studies - Hg studies
  • Modeling - Cadmus Group
  • NOAA - Circulation Studies

Project Personnel:

Curriculum Vitae

Mark A Zucker

Education:
Master of Science in Environmental Studies, Florida International University: Miami, Florida, May 2003, Cum Laude
Thesis: Spatial and Temporal Patterns of Freshwater Flow to Joe Bay, Florida

Bachelor of Science in Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University: Bloomington, Indiana, May 1994

Work Experience:
Physical Scientist for the U.S. Geological Survey: Water Resources Division, Miami,
Florida, December 2003.
Project: Freshwater Flow to Northeastern Florida Bay and South Florida NAWQA
Duties: Hydrological, biological, and chemical monitoring and assessment
Principle Investigator Freshwater Flows to Florida Bay

Hydrologic Technician for the U.S. Geological Survey: Water Resources Division, Miami, Florida, 1997-2002:
Project: South Florida NAWQA and Freshwater Flow to Northeastern Florida Bay and South Florida NAWQA
Duties: Hydrological, biological, and chemical monitoring and assessment

Hydrologic Technician for the U.S. Geological Survey: Water Resources Division, Miami Florida. Environmental Careers Organization (ECO) Internship 1994-1997
Project: Georgia-Florida Coastal Plain NAWQA and South Florida NAWQA
Duties: Hydrological, biological, and chemical monitoring and assessment

Intern for the National Biological Survey at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
Summer 1994
Project: Damage Assessment of the Grand Calumet Lagoons and Adjacent Ponds
Duties: Hydrological, biological, and chemical monitoring and assessment

Publications:
Hittle, C.D., Patino, E., and Zucker, M. 2001, Freshwater Flow From Estuarine Creeks Into Northeastern Florida Bay: U.S. Geological Survey Water Resources Investigation Report 01-4164, 30 p.


Curriculum Vitae

Clinton Hittle

Education:
2001-Current Masters in Environmental Studies, Florida International University
1993-1995 Graduate Studies in Geology, University of Akron, Akron, Ohio.
1993 B.S. Geology, Bloomsburg University, Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania.

Skills:
Surface water data collection and analysis of estuarine systems using acoustic Doppler technology -- Geophysical studies of saltwater intrusion -- Remote field operations management.

Professional Experience:
Place: US DOI - USGS, Miami, Florida
Date: November 1996 - present
Position: Hydrologist
Duties: Manage the collection and analysis of estuarine data collected in Florida Bay while publishing professional reports on the techniques and data interpretations. Conducted a study on saltwater intrusion in southern Florida with a published report

Place: US DOI - USGS, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Date: October 1995 - November 1996
Position: Environmental Careers Organization internship.
Duties: Collected geomorphologic, hydrologic, and survey data for the USGS bridge scour project which covered the entire state of Pennsylvania. Team leader for survey crew responsible for the quality and timeliness of bridge surveys and hydrologic data.

Publications
Hittle, C.D., Patino, E., and Zucker, M. 2001, Freshwater Flow From Estuarine Creeks Into Northeastern Florida Bay: U.S. Geological Survey Water Resources Investigation Report 01-4164, 30 p.

Patino, E., Hittle, C.D., 2000, Magnitude and Distribution of Flows into Northeastern Florida Bay: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet FS-030-00, 4 p.

Hittle, C.D., 1999, Delineation of Saltwater Intrusion in the Surficial Aquifer System in Eastern Palm Beach, Martin, and St. Lucie Counties, Florida, 1997-98: U.S. Geological Survey Water Resources Investigative Report, 1 map sheet.

2004 Deliverables:

  1. Continue data collection and computations
  2. Continue data review process
  3. Progress Report detailing data collection activities and data availability (January 2005)
  4. Provide reviewed monitoring data on USGS SOFIA website

2005 Deliverables:

  1. Continue data collection and computations
  2. Continue data review process
  3. Progress Report detailing data collection activities and data availability (July 2005)
  4. Provide reviewed monitoring data on USGS SOFIA website

2006 Deliverables:

  1. Continue data collection and computations
  2. Continue data review process
  3. Progress Report detailing data collection activities and data availability (January 2006)
  4. Data Series Report for monitoring activities from 1999 to 2005 (September 30, 2006)
  5. Provide reviewed monitoring data on USGS SOFIA website

References

Hittle, C.D., Patino, E., Zucker, M., 2001, Freshwater Flow from Estuarine Creeks into Northeastern Florida Bay: USGS Water-Resources Investigation Report 01-4164, p. 32.

Johnson, R. A., Wagner, J. I., Grigsby, D. J., and Stern, V. A., 1988, Hydrologic Effects of the 1984 through 1986 L-31 Canal Drawdowns on the Northern Taylor Slough Basin of Everglades National Park: South Florida Natural Resources Center, Everglades National Park, Homestead, Florida, Technical Report 88-01.

McIvor, C.C., Levy, J.A., and Bjork, R.D. 1994, Changes in Freshwater Inflow from the Everglades to Florida Bay Including Effects on Biota and Biotic Processes: a Review, In: Davis, S.M., and Ogden, J.C., eds. Everglades-The Ecosystem and its Restoration: Delray Beach, Fla., St. Lucie Press, p. 440.

SFWMD. 2003. Everglades Consolidated Report. Appendix 2b-4: Preliminary Report on Florida Bay Mercury Screening Study (Monitoring the Effect of Restoration and Enhanced Freshwater Flows on Biogeochemistry and Bioaccumulation of Mercury in Florida Bay. South Florida Water Management District, West Palm Beach Florida.

Swain, E.D., Wolfert, M.A., Bales, J.D., Goodwin, C.R., Two-Dimensional Hydrodynamic Simulation of Surface-Water Flow and Transport to Florida Bay through the Southern Inland and Coastal Systems (SICS): USGS Water-Resources Investigations Report 03-0487, p. 56.

United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), February 2002, Central and Southern Florida Project, Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, Project Management Plan, Florida Bay and Florida Keys Feasibility Study.

United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), March 2002, Central and Southern Florida Project, Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, Project Management Plan, C-111 Spreader Canal.

U.S. Geological Survey, Gazetteer of GPS Positioned Gage Sites in the Everglades National Park And Big Cypress National Preserve. First Edition, June 2003.

Van Lent, T., Johnson, R., Fennema, R.F., 1993, Water Management in Taylor Slough and Effects on Florida Bay: South Florida Natural Research Center, Everglades National Park, Homestead, FL.

Zucker. Mark A, 2003, Spatial and Temporal Patterns of Freshwater Flow to Joe Bay, Florida: MS Thesis, Environmental Studies Department, Florida International University, Miami, Florida, 141 p.


Related information:

SOFIA Project: Hydrologic Monitoring in Joe Bay


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