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Southwest Florida National Wildlife Refuges - Greater Everglades Baseline Information and Response to CERP

photograph of McIntyre Creek monitoring station
Project Investigator: Amanda Booth

Project Personnel: Lars Soderqvist, Travis Knight, Andrew Erickson, Ryan Hollins

Project Start Date: 2009 End Date: 2015



Project objectives: study relation between freshwater discharges from the Caloosahatchee River and water quality trends at J. N. Ding Darling NWR; describe seasonal changes in spatial distribution of water quality parameters along the Caloosahatchee River and downstream estuaries; determine DOC and nitrate concentrations and calculate loads from the Caloosahatchee River at the Franklin Locks to the Caloosahatchee Estuary; describe winter temperature patterns at the POI boat basin.

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.

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.

This study will provide seasonal and spatial variations in water quality constituents within the tidal Caloosahatchee River and downstream estuaries.

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.

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.

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Scientific Investigations Reports


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Script last updated: 23 October 2018 @ 12:03 PM by THF. Record creator: KP. Record last updated by: KP.