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Hydrologic Monitoring and Synthesis of Existing Hydrologic Data in the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge and Surrounding Areas

photo of a panther
Project Investigator: Ronald S. Reese

Project Personnel: Larry Richardson

Project Start Date: 2005 End Date: 2007



The objectives of this project are to: (1) inventory existing hydrologic data available in the vicinity of the FPNWR; (2) design and install a hydrologic monitoring network for the FPNWR; (3) collect other hydrologic data as needed to assist in determining the hydrologic conditions in the area; and, (4) evaluate historical and current data to determine trends and baseline conditions at and in the vicinity of the FPNWR.

The biologic communities of the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge (FPNWR) and surrounding areas have been historically impacted by the changes in hydrology associated with past highway and canal construction and will be impacted by future plans for hydrologic restoration. Currently, little hydrologic data is collected in the vicinity of the FPNWR. Two continuous recording stations located up gradient in Big Cypress National Park (stations A1 and A2) are the nearest wetland stations to the FPNWR. Additional stations are located in the canals near the FPNWR. Information on current hydrologic conditions and a monitoring network are needed in order to determine the impact of the planned Picayune Strand Hydrologic Restoration on the hydrology of the area. These hydrologic changes will have effects on the threatened and endangered species as well as other biologic communities in the FPNWR.

There are two components to the hydrology of the area that have an impact on the ecology, surface water, and shallow ground water. The surface water consists of wetlands within and canals bordering the FPNWR. Canals bordering the refuge have a major impact on the hydrology in the area. The FPNWR currently maintains a hydrologic monitoring program of 8 stations (Larry Richardson, verbal communication). These hydrologic monitoring stations have not been surveyed to a vertical datum, which is required to adequately evaluate the data being collected. The survey information is required to determine the relationship between ground water and surface water in the area. Additional information needed to evaluate the hydrology of the area include stage and flow rates in the canals bordering the FPNWR.

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