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projects > freshwater flows into northeastern florida bay > project summary
Project Summary Sheet
Fiscal Year 2006 Study Summary Report
Study Title: Freshwater Flows to Northeastern Florida Bay
Overview & Objective(s): The project objectives are to: (1) determine the quantity, timing and distribution of freshwater flow through estuarine creeks into northeastern Florida Bay (Fig. 1); (2) for Everglades modelers, scientists, and managers, provide up to 31 days of real-time hydrologic data, provide published unit value data on the South Florida Information Access website (SOFIA), and provide station manuscripts for the annual surface water data report (Fig. 2); (3) advance acoustic methods and technology for gaging estuarine creeks; and (4) advance methods and technology for computing continuous monitoring record (e.g. salinity; Fig. 2). Flow, water-level, salinity, and temperature data are collected at the estuarine creeks that connect the Everglades wetland with Florida Bay (Table 1). This project provides flow data critical for addressing nutrient loading and the impact of water quality on Florida Bay. The USACE, SFWMD, USGS, ENP and other agencies as well as universities currently are using the data from this study to answer specific research questions that will directly benefit the Everglades restoration effort.
Table 1: Florida Bay monitoring stations and locations
Recent Products: (1) Published unit values of water level, discharge, salinity, and temperature are available from 1996 to 2000. Data is available in Data Series Report 105 Hittle and Zucker (2004) and on SOFIA at (http://water.usgs.gov/pubs/ds/ds105/, http://sofia.usgs.gov/exchange/patino/patinoflow.html); (2) Poster titled Estimation of Freshwater Flow to Joe Bay, South Florida; (3) Published fact sheet (FS 2004-3129) "Hydrologic Characteristics of Estuarine River Systems within Everglades National Park." (http://water.usgs.gov/pubs/fs/2004/3129/) (4) Published unit values of water level, discharge, salinity, and temperature are available from 2001 to 2004 available on SOFIA; (5) Clickable map of the coastal network real-time data for scientists and resource managers available on SOFIA; (6) Formal presentation to the USACE in Jacksonville, FL in January 2005; (7) Abstract and poster summarizing coastal nutrient loads presented at the 2005 Florida Bay Conference (Shoemaker and others, 2005); (8) Circular article for the special estuaries addition covering Florida Bay hydrology during the 2004 hurricane season (Woods, in press); (9) Abstract and poster on availability of published hydrologic data on SOFIA (Zucker and others, 2006) and the estuarine creek response to hurricanes in 2004 and 2005 (Woods and others, 2006) presented at the 2006 GEER Conference in June 2006; (10) Contracted USGS National Mapping Division to resurvey five gaging stations to verify and correct datums for improving flow and water level calculations (B Glover, USGS, pers. commun., 2006) (11) Provisional nutrient loading data at West Highway Creek provided to SFWMD for the assessment of algal blooms in Florida Bay (South Florida Water Management District, 2006) (12) Abstract prepared in collaboration with Steve Davis at Texas A&M University for an LTER Scientists Conference (Davis and others, 2006) (13) Updated Florida Bay metadata posted on SOFIA.
Planned Products: (1) Publish unit values of water level, discharge, salinity, and temperature for water year 2006 available on SOFIA; (2) Collaborative journal article using flow data from Freshwater Flows to Florida Bay Project and water-quality data collected by the Coastal Gradients Project titled "Estimates of Nutrient Loads at West Highway Creek in Northeastern Florida Bay" (in preparation); (3) Journal article titled "Spatial and temporal salinity patterns in Joe Bay, Everglades National Park" (in preparation); (4) Data Series Report or Open File Report documenting the 2001-2005 published data set; (5) Quality-assured, published ground-water data at Upstream Taylor River (1999-2006) on SOFIA; (6) Continued rating development at the recently installed East Creek in Little Madeiria Bay station to evaluate the utility of hydrologic correlation.
Specific Relevance to Information Needs Identified in DOI's Science Plan in Support of Ecosystem Restoration, Preservation, and Protection in South Florida (DOI's Everglades Science Plan) [See Plan on SOFIA's Web site: http://sofia.usgs.gov/publications/reports/doi-science-plan/]:
Specific Relevance to Major Unanswered Questions and Information Needs Identified: (Page numbers below refer to DOI Science Plan.)
This study supports several of the projects listed in the Department of the Interior (DOI) science plan (specifically, the C-111 Spreader Canal and CSOP; Additional Water for ENP and Biscayne Bay Feasibility Study; and Florida Bay and Florida Keys Feasibility Study) by (1) providing baseline hydrologic data for model calibration and verification, and for resource management; (2) providing long-term hydrologic and water quality data to determine trends in hydrologic response to storms, sea level rise, and restoration activities; (3) quantifying discharge at estuarine creeks to answer quantity, timing and distribution questions (Fig. 3); (4) quantifying discharge at estuarine creeks for nutrient load calculations (Fig. 4); (5) providing temperature data for biological studies; and (6) providing salinity data to support restoration criteria (i.e., performance measures).
Three restoration questions were stated in the executive summary of the DOI Science plan (p. 1) and maximizing cost-share opportunities and science coordination were emphasized. This study supports restoration question 1: "What actions will improve the quantity, timing, and distribution of clean freshwater needed to restore the South Florida ecosystem?" The monitoring network provides coastal discharge data for the majority of estuarine creeks in northeastern Florida Bay. The timing and distribution of freshwater deliveries to northeastern Florida Bay has been documented since 1996 (Fig. 3). In 2003, the USGS coastal and estuarine unit also began calculating nutrient loads (Fig. 4) at selected sites in northeastern Florida Bay and along the southwestern Everglades coast. The larger network has provided discharge information to researches to develop nutrient budgets and loading (Rudnick, 1999; Sutula and others, 2003; Davis, 2004; Levesque, 2004).
USGS synthesis teams have been coordinated to assess nutrient flux to South Florida coastal ecosystems (McPherson and others, 2006) and to conduct data mining and modeling to separate human and natural hydrologic dynamics (Conrads and others, 2005). The need to comprehensively address recent algal blooms in Blackwater Sound and adjacent basins has fostered a collaborative effort between the USGS and Federal, State, and local partners to determine the source of the problem and understand the persistence of the blooms (South Florida Water Management District, 2006).
Additional funding from the USACE and ENP-CESI has allowed PES to commit to sustainable funding levels for future years (Fig. 5). The USACE has provided funding since 2001 as part of the Freshwater Flows to Northeastern Florida Bay: Data Collection Network in Support of C-111 Basin Studies program. The CESI program has provided funding over a 3-year period to support the monitoring in Joe Bay (http://sofia.usgs.gov/projects/joe_bay/). Funding will be available through fiscal year 2007.
It is well recognized that maintaining funding for long term data collection is difficult, and the development of program with existing and new partners is a high priority. The northeastern Florida Bay network is one component of a larger integrated network that includes the southwest coast (Shark Slough), the freshwater/mangrove transition zone (Coastal Gradients Projects). Funding for the integrated network includes PES, USACE, and the funding sources described above. The coastal projects are interdependent in terms of the physical, chemical, and hydrological data needed to assess the potential spatial and temporal changes as CERP restoration proceeds. The collective scope of the two projects allows for a more sustainable long-term data and research program than would otherwise be possible.
The DOI science plan has provided four criteria for prioritizing the science needs for restoration and resource management (p. 11). The criteria and the applicability of the Freshwater Flows to Northeastern Florida Bay project to each are summarized below.
1) The relevance of the science effort to improving understanding of the ecological and hydrological processes affecting DOI lands and resources. This project has been tasked since 1995 to develop techniques to measure and compute continuous discharge affected by wind and tide along the South Florida coast. Methods have been developed to quantify coastal discharges (Hittle and others, 2001; Morlock and others, 2002; Ruhl and others, 2005) and published data has been shared with our partners to improve our understanding of the south Florida estuaries (http://sofia.usgs.gov/exchange/patino/patinoflow.html). Since the development and application of index velocity techniques in South Florida estuaries, new methods and instrumentation have been utilized to improve the quantification of discharge. Acoustic Doppler velocity meters with up-looking acoustic beams have been utilized to quantify discharge in bidirectional rivers (i.e., Card Sound Canal). Up-looking acoustic sensors and pressure transducers have been employed to measure water level rather than the standard stilling well at some locations. Instrumentation such as DGPS and sonar are being used to more accurately measure discharge in Florida Bay channels with dense sea grass beds (Criales and others, 2003). Also acoustic Doppler velocimeters are being used to measure wetland velocities in Taylor Slough and the C-111 Basin. Additional research benefits include the development of nutrient loading methods for three estuarine creeks (Shoemaker and others 2005); the evaluation of estuarine creek responses during the 2004-2005 hurricane season (Woods and others 2006); and the evaluation of minimum flows and levels in Florida Bay using real-time data from the National Water Information System at (http://waterdata.usgs.gov/fl/nwis/rt and http://fl.water.usgs.gov/Miami/hurricane/) (Bennett, SFWMD pers. commun., 2006).
2) The applicability of the science to multiple DOI restoration objectives or multiple projects. This project provides data sets for (1) various modeling efforts (SICS, TIME, Florida Bay Hydrodynamic Model) utilized by the USGS, USACE, ENP, SFWMD, and universities; (2) nutrient loading assessments by FIU and SFWMD; and (3) salinity box modeling by Marshall and others (2002) and Nuttle (2002). In addition, research on mercury loading in Florida Bay utilized computed flow data (Rumbold and others 2001).
3) Synthesis and sequencing to address the most urgent management information needs. The project supports various synthesis and modeling efforts. Examples of USGS synthesis projects include the Compilation, Integration, and Synthesis of Water Quality and Flow Data for Assessing Nutrient Flux to South Florida Coastal Ecosystems project, and the Hydrology Monitoring Network: Data Mining and Modeling to Separate Human and Natural Hydrologic Dynamics project. Other synthesis projects utilizing our data sets include (1) the SFWMD Everglades Consolidated Reports and the more recent algal bloom problem along US-1 (South Florida Water Management District, 2006); the FIU Long Term Ecological Research, Florida Coastal Everglades project; the USACE Florida Bay and Florida Keys Feasibility Study.
4) Maximization of cost-share opportunities and science coordination across bureaus or with DOI's CERP partners. This project receives funding from PES and USACE, and it benefits from additional CESI funded work in Joe Bay. Funding for the Southwest Florida Coastal and Wetland Systems Monitoring project is fully funded by PES, whereas the Coastal Gradients of Flow, Salinity, and Nutrients project is fully funded by CERP RECOVER. An example of the cost-share in fiscal year 2004 is shown in figure 5.
This study supports the C-111 Spreader and CSOP projects (p. 71), as it provides (1) baseline data (flow, salinity, and rainfall) for change detection throughout the construction process and modeling, (2) critical coastal discharge data for water quality assessments such as nutrient loading, and (3) hydrologic data to calibrate models or verify models for predictions of salinity.
In addition, this study supports the Additional Water to Everglades National Park and Biscayne Bay Feasibility Study (p. 74) by providing (1) baseline data to assist with determining how restoring natural flows in Taylor Slough will change the quantity, timing, and distribution of flows in Biscayne Bay and Florida Bay; (2) physical, chemical, and hydrologic data needed for environmental risk assessments of contaminants; and (3) rainfall data at three locations to enhance geospatial rainfall data coverage near the coast.
This study supports the Florida Bay and Florida Keys Feasibility Study (p. 77) as it provides (1) baseline data to address the quantity, timing and distribution of freshwater flow to Florida Bay-one of DOI questions of interest stated in the executive summary; (2) basic hydrologic data to assist with model calibration and verification (p. 78) of the Florida Bay Hydrodynamic (Florida Bay and Florida Keys Feasibility Study) and the USGS TIME and SICS models; and (3) critical coastal discharge data for studies of nutrient, pesticide, and mercury loading
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
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Last updated: 04 September, 2013 @ 02:08 PM(KP)
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