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Linking Land, Air and Water Management in the Southern Everglades and Coastal Zone to Water Quality and Ecosystem Restoration

looking out over the open waters of Florida Bay
Project Investigators: David P. Krabbenhoft, William H. Orem, George Aiken

Project Personnel: Mark L. Olson, John F. DeWild, Shane D. Olund, J. Ogreck, Thomas Sabin, Harry E. Lerch, Anne L. Bates, Margo Corum, M. Gelsinger, Chase Gerbig, Kenna Butler, Jennifer Schnackel

Project Start Date: 2006 End Date: 2018



The overall objective of this next phase of our research is to extend our understanding of the interactions of Hg, sulfate, DOC contamination to areas of the Everglades that are anticipated to receive increasing water delivery from sulfate rich EAA runoff or ASR waters, including: ENP, BCNP, and Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge (LNWR).

Task 1 of this project focuses on Mercury Cycling, Fate and Bioaccumulation. This three year project will seek to extend our knowledge of the controlling factors of mercury toxicity in the Everglades, with specific attention to geographical areas and land use and changes related to the restoration that may affect methylmercury production and bioaccumulation. We propose to direct our current and future efforts on the federally managed lands.

Task 2 focuses on sulfur and nutrient biogeochemistry in the Everglades, and in concert with the other tasks also examines the complex interactions of sulfur with mercury (synergistic and antagonistic). Emphasis is placed on ecosystem responses to variations in contaminant loading (changes in external and internal loading over time and space dimensions), and how imminent ecosystem restoration may affect existing contaminant pools and their impacts on natural resources in the ecosystem.

Task 3 focuses on the factors that control the occurrence, nature and reactivity of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in the Florida Everglades, especially with regard to the biological transformation and accumulation of mercury (Hg). Our goal is to provide fundamental information on the nature and reactivity of DOM in the Everglades and to elucidate the mechanisms and pathways by which the DOM influences the chemistry of Hg throughout the system.

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