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Project Summary Sheet

U.S. Geological Survey, Greater Everglades Priority Ecosystems Science (GE PES) Initiative

Fiscal Year 2006 Study Summary Report

Study Title: High Resolution Bathymetric Mapping of South Florida Estuarine and Coastal Systems
Start Date: Aug. 2003 End Date: Aug. 2005
Web Sites:
Location (Subregions, Counties, Park or Refuge): Charlotte Harbor, Pine Island Sound, offshore regions of Sanibel and Captiva Islands and the Caloosahatchee, Loxahatchee, and St. Lucie Rivers Estero Bay, Charlotte Harbor, southwest Florida Rivers, and 10,000 Islands Region
Funding Source: USGS Greater Everglades Priority Ecosystems Science (GE PES) Initiative, SFWMD
Principal Investigator(s): Mark Hansen, mhansen@usgs.gov
Project Personnel:
Supporting Organizations: South Florida Water Management District
Associated / Linked Projects: SICS/TIME Models; Coastal Gradients of flows, salinities, nutrients

Overview & Objective(s): High resolution, GPS based bathymetric surveying is a proven method to map river, lake, and ocean floor elevations. Several recent initiatives including the development Minimum Flows and Levels (MFL) and the Southwest Florida Feasibility Study (SWFFS) necessitate the development of hydrodynamic models of coastal waters in South Florida. In addition, a need for an Estero Bay and Charlotte Harbor estuarine mixing model has been identified by the Southwest Florida Regional Restoration Coordination Team and the Southwest Florida Feasibility Study. One of the important data requirements for these models is the bathymetry. The information available at this time for most of South Florida is dated and needs to be upgraded with new surveys.

This project addresses the collection and interpretation of data necessary to develop the present day bathymetry of the lower portions of South Florida including: Estero Bay, Charlotte Harbor, Pine Island Sound, offshore regions of Sanibel and Captiva Islands and the Caloosahatchee, Loxahatchee, St. Lucie, and southwest Florida Rivers. In order to create accurate numerical models, current bathymetric data must be obtained. Bathymetry data is also needed for the creation of a seagrass vision maps (an NEP effort) and to populate the species response models being created as assessment tools for several restoration programs.

Status: Under the present cooperative arrangement with SFWMD, FY05 will be the last year of the project. To date, we have mapped the following areas: Estero Bay, Charlotte Harbor, Pine Island Sound, offshore regions of Sanibel and Captiva Islands, and on the Florida East coast the Loxahatchee and St. Lucie Rivers, and on the Florida West Coast the Caloosahatchee, Shark, Little Shark, Broad, Harney, Lopez, Chatham, and Turner Rivers. The offshore region between Ft. Myers and Naples, FL will be mapped during FY05.

Recent & Planned Products:
(1) Tabular and gridded bathymetric data sets. (2) USGS Open File Reports. (3) USGS Miscellaneous Maps.

Relevance to Greater Everglades Restoration Information Needs: Restoring the Everglades involves returning essential functions to a large and diverse ecosystem that has had significant adverse impacts from man's activities over the past 50 years. This project provides scientific data to assure the quantity and quality of drinking water as well as agricultural and industrial water supplies, and in general improve the quality of life for all south Florida's inhabitants.

In keeping with the mission of the USGS to provide the Nation with reliable, impartial information to describe and understand the Earth, this project involves mapping and topographic studies that contribute to the safety, health, and well-being of Florida's citizens. The work conducted encompasses high quality data collection which will be utilized for hydrological and ecological modeling and experimental research and monitoring.

Key Findings:

  1. The bathymetry of recently surveyed areas is often significantly different than identified on existing hydrographic charts; however some areas including shoals and channel depths have changed remarkably little in the past 50+ years.
  2. Some areas recently surveyed have never been charted.

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Last updated: 04 September, 2013 @ 02:08 PM(TJE)