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Project Work Plan
U.S. Geological Survey, Greater Everglades Priority Ecosystems Science (GE PES)
Fiscal Year 2008 Study Work Plan
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; (3) advance acoustic methods and technology for gaging estuarine creeks; and (4) advance methods and technology for computing continuous water quality monitoring record (e.g. salinity). 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.
Specific Relevance to Major Unanswered Questions and Information Needs Identified: (Page numbers below refer to the 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. 2); (4) quantifying discharge at estuarine creeks for nutrient load calculations (Fig. 3); (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. 2). In 2003, the USGS coastal and estuarine unit also began calculating nutrient loads (Fig. 3) 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. 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/).
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). These 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 various 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 (Zucker and others, 2007). 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 (Zucker and others, in press). 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), (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); (4) real-time data to the SFWMD to evaluate the water management operations (Minimum Flows and Levels) and report on the annual environmental conditions; (5) CERP restoration projects such as the C-111 Spreader Canal Project. In addition, research on mercury loading in Florida Bay utilized computed flow data (Rumbold and others 2001). More recently, the availability of flow data prior to and after the 2005 hurricane season was critical for the assessment of recent algal blooms along US-1 near Key Largo (South Florida Water Management District, 2006). The published data on SOFIA and the continuation of the monitoring network is critical as restoration projects go online.
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 benefited 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 RECOVER.
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.
Recent Products: (1) Published unit values of water level, discharge, salinity, and temperature are available from 1996 to 2006. Data is available on SOFIA at http://sofia.usgs.gov/exchange/zucker_woods_patino/index.html; (2) Published unit values of water level, specific conductance, and temperature for ground water stations (G-3776, G-3777, G-3764, G-3763, MO-198, MO-199, and MO-211) from water year 2002 to current; (3) Published fact sheet (FS2004-3129) Hydrologic Characteristics of Estuarine River Systems within Everglades National Park. (http://water.usgs.gov/pubs/fs/2004/3129/) (4) Clickable map of the coastal network real-time data for scientists and resource managers available on SOFIA; (5) Abstract and poster titled "Estimates of Nutrient Loads at West Highway Creek in Northeastern Florida Bay" was presented at the 2005 Florida Bay Conference (Shoemaker and others, 2005); (6) Circular article for the special estuaries addition on the 2004 hurricane season (Woods and others, draft available); (7) Abstract and poster titled "Northeastern Florida Bay Estuarine and Joe Bay Estuarine Creek Data, 2001-2005" (Zucker and others, 2006) and [abstract and poster titled] "Northeastern Florida Bay Estuarine Creek Response During the 2004-05 Hurricane Season" (Woods and others, 2006) was presented at the 2006 GEER Conference in June 2006; (8) Contracted USGS National Mapping Division to verify and establish elevations at four gaging stations (B Glover, USGS, pers. commun., 2007) (9) 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) (10) Abstract prepared in collaboration with Steve Davis at Texas A&M University for an LTER Scientists Conference (Davis and others, 2006) (11) Updated Florida Bay metadata posted on SOFIA; (12) Abstract and poster titled "A comparison of rated discharge at Jewfish Creek using a 0.5 MHz and a 1.5 MHz Argonaut-SL using different sampling volumes" presented at the 2007 National Surface Water Conference and Hydroacoustics Workshop, April 2007.
Planned Products: (1) Publish unit values of water level, discharge, salinity, and temperature for water year 2007 available on SOFIA no later than April 2008; (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 2001-2006 published data set; (4) Continued rating development at the recently installed East Creek in Little Madeiria Bay and Alligator Creek to evaluate the utility of hydrologic correlation and implications of total flow to Florida Bay; (5) Install, maintain and provide real-time wind data at three wetlands sites; (6) An abstract titled "Nutrient loading at Card Sound Canal; a tidally driven canal that experiences highly stratified, bidirectional flow conditions" was recently approved for presentation at the USGS National Water-Quality Workshop at Galveston, Texas, November 5-9, 2007; (7) Manuscripts from Water Resources Data for Florida, 2006, Volume 2A: South Florida Surface Water USGS Water-Data Report FL-06-2A will be posted on the SOFIA; (8) Continue collaboration with Ken Odom on the optimization of the coastal monitoring network. A scope of work for this project has been disseminated and deliverable in fiscal year 2008 includes a journal article discussing the statistical analysis of the collected data.
Title of Task 1: Gaging Freshwater Flows into Northeastern Florida Bay
The task objectives are to: (1) determine the quantity, timing and distribution of freshwater flow through estuarine creeks into northeastern Florida Bay (the Florida Bay and Florida Keys Feasibility Study (p. 77), (2) provide real-time physical data to Everglades/Florida Bay modelers and researchers (Additional Water to Everglades National Park and Biscayne Bay Feasibility Study (p. 74), and (3) advance acoustic methods and technology for gaging estuarine creeks.
Work to be undertaken during the proposal year and a description of the methods and procedures: Data collection includes continuous 15-minute interval measurements of water level, water velocity, salinity, and temperature data and periodic measurements of discharge for acoustic Doppler velocity meter (ADVM) calibrations (Table 1). Field data at the instrumented sites are recorded by an electronic data logger and transmitted every 1 to 4 hours by way of the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) into the database of FISC Ft. Lauderdale office. Non-transmitting stations include East Creek, Joe Bay 1E, Joe Bay 5C, and Joe Bay 8W, and Alligator Creek. Discharge measurements will be performed at East Creek in Little Madeira Bay to continue rating development. East Creek, a previously non-gaged station, was instrumented with an ADVM that incorporates an up-looking acoustic beam. The goal is to compute discharge at East Creek and compare the results against regression-determined discharge.
Boat mounted acoustic Doppler current profilers (ADCP) are used to measure discharge (Table 1). The ADCP uses the Doppler shift in returned acoustic signals reflected by particles suspended in the water to determine the velocity of moving water. Discharge and flow direction are calculated using the Doppler software package. The mean channel water velocity is calculated by dividing the ADCP determined discharge by the cross-sectional area determined by the water level at the time of measurement. The cross-sectional area is computed by using the site-specific stage-area ratings, which are a function of water level. Water-level data are collected with an incremental shaft encoder equipped with a pulley, stainless-steel tape, weight, and float inside an 8-in. (inch) polyvinyl chloride pipe stilling well. Water level also is collected using pressure sensors and vertical acoustic transducers.
Salinity and temperature data are collected with YSI instrumentation (i.e. 600R, LS, OMS). During routine station visits, these in-situ instruments are cleaned and verified with laboratory standards. Fouling and electronic errors are documented and corrections are applied accordingly. Storage, processing, and publication of continuous monitoring data follow USGS guidelines (Sauer. 2002; Wagner and others, 2000, 2006). A reference instrument (YSI) is used during each field trip to verify in-situ salinities and temperatures. The reference thermistor is checked against a NIST laboratory certified thermometer prior to each field trip. Additional field methods have been described by Hittle and others (2001), Hittle and others (2004), and by Zucker at (http://sofia.usgs.gov/exchange/patino/methodflow.html).
Specific Task Product(s): Published unit values of water level, discharge, salinity, and temperature for water year 2006 will be available on SOFIA by April 2007. Manuscripts will be published in the USGS Annual Data Report and posted on SOFIA. Index velocity rating development and verification will focus on East Creek, Joe Bay 2E, Joe Bay 8W, East Highway Creek, and Jewfish Creek. For example, a 13-hour ADCP field test is planned (1) to verify the existing ADVM velocity rating prior to discontinuation, and (2) to develop the index velocity rating the newly deployed long-range ADVM. An on-line Open File Report or Data Series Report will be published in fiscal year 2008 that documents the data published from 2001 to 2006. A journal article titled Estimates of Nutrient Loads at West Highway Creek in Northeastern Florida Bay is currently in preparation. Personnel plan to attend the National Water-Quality Workshop at Galveston, Texas, November 5-9, 2007 as well as other conferences as opportunities arise.
Title of Task 2: Network Optimization Project in Southern Florida
Work to be undertaken during the proposal year and a description of the methods and procedures: The three major tasks to be completed in fiscal year 2008 include the continuation of data gathering (historical data, site information, GIS data, qualitative data), begin the statistical analysis, and complete the first report focusing on methods and statistical analysis.
Specific Task Product(s): An on-line Open-File Report or journal article discussing the statistical analysis or site scoring based on statistics.
Conrads, P.A., Roehl, E., 2005, Analysis of the process physics of tributaries to Florida Bay using artificial neural networks and three-dimensional response surfaces in Proceedings from the Florida Bay and Adjacent Marine Systems Conference, Hawk's Cay Resort, December 11-14, 2005.
Criales, M.M., and others, 2003, Postlarval Transport of Pink Shrimp into Florida Bay: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 03-54.
Davis, S.E. III, Cable, J.E., Childers, D.L., Coronado-Molina, Carlos., Day, J.W., Hittle, C.D., Madden, C.J., Reyes, E., Rudnick, D., and Sklar, F., 2004, Importance of storm events in controlling ecosystem structure and function in a Florida Gulf Coast estuary: Journal of Coastal Research, v. 20, no. 3, p. 263-273.
Davis, S., Childers, C., Rugge, M., Woods, Jeff, and Zucker, Mark, 2006, Hurricane/storm driven hydrology and materials exchange in the estuarine transition zone of the Florida Coastal Everglades (FCE) in Proceedings from the 2006 LTER All Scientists Conference at Estes Park, Colorado (September 20 - 23, 2006).
Hittle, C.D., 2000, Magnitude and Distribution of Flows into Northeastern Florida Bay: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 030-00, 4 p.
Hittle, C.D., Patino, Eduardo, and Zucker, Mark, 2001, Freshwater flow from estuarine creeks into northeastern Florida Bay: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigation Report 01-4164, 32 p.
Hittle, C.D., Zucker, Mark, 2004, Northeastern Florida Bay Estuarine Creek Data, Water Years 1996-2000: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series Report 105.
Levesque, V.A., 2004, Water flow and nutrient flux from five estuarine rivers along the Southwest Coast of Everglades National Park, Florida, 1997-2001: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 04-5142, 24 p.
Marshall, F.E. III, Smith, Dewitt, and Nickerson, David, 2003, Salinity simulation models for north Florida Bay, Everglades National Park, in Proceedings from the Joint Conference on the Science and Restoration of the Greater Everglades and Florida Bay Ecosystem Conference, Palm Harbor, Florida, April 13-18, 2003 p. 53.
McPherson, B.F., and Torres, A.E., 2006, Freshwater and Nutrient Fluxes to Coastal Waters of Everglades National Park-A Synthesis: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2006-3076, 4 p.
Morlock, S.E., Nguyen, H.T., and Ross, J.H., 2002, Feasibility of acoustic Doppler velocity meters for the production of discharge records from U.S. Geological Survey streamflow-gaging stations: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 01-4157.
Nuttle, W.K., 2002, Salinity-based performance measures project: Report #6: Estuarine salinity models in the Taylor Slough/C111 area: Technical Report Prepared for Everglades National Park.
Rudnick, D.T., Childers, D.L., Fontaine, T.D. III, 1999, Phosphorus and nitrogen inputs to Florida Bay: The importance of the Everglades watershed: Estuaries, v. 22, no. 2B, p. 398-416.
Ruhl, Catherine A., Simpson, Michael.R., 2005, Computation of discharge using the index-velocity method in tidally affected areas: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2005-5004.
Rumbold, Darren., and others., 2001, Linking everglades restoration and enhanced freshwater flows to elevated concentrations of mercury in Florida Bay, in Proceedings from the 2001 Florida Bay Conference in Westin Beach Resort, Key Largo, Florida, April 23-26, 2001.
Sauer, V.B., 2002, Standards for the analysis and processing of surface-water data and information using electronic methods: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 01-4044.
Shoemaker, B.S., Zucker, Mark, and Stumpner, Paul, 2005, Estimates of Nutrient Loads at West Highway Creek in Northeastern Florida Bay, in Proceedings from the Florida Bay and Adjacent Marine Systems Conference, Hawk's Cay Resort December 11-14, 2005.
South Florida Water Management District, 2006, Report on Algae Blooms in Eastern Florida Bay and Southern Bay: West Palm Beach, Technical report Prepared by the Coastal Ecosystems Division.
Sutula, M.A., Perez, B.C., Reyes, E., Childers, D.L., Davis, S., Day, J.R., Rudnick, D., and Sklar, F., 2003, Factors affecting spatial and temporal variability in material exchange between the Southern Everglades wetlands and Florida Bay (USA): Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science. v. 57, p. 757-781.
Wagner, R.J., Mattraw, H.C., Ritz, G.F., and Smith, B.A., 2000, Guidelines and standard procedures for continuous water-quality monitors: Site selection, field operation, calibration, record computation, and reporting: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 00-4252, 53 p.
Wagner, R.J., Boulger, W.R., and Smith, B.A., 2006, Revised guidelines and standard procedures for continuous water-quality monitors: Site selection, field operation, calibration, record computation, and reporting: U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods, book 9, chapter B.
Woods, Jeff, and Zucker, Mark, 2006, Northeastern Florida Bay Estuarine Creek Response During the 2004-05 Hurricane Season, in Proceedings from the 2006 Greater Everglades Ecosystem Restoration Conference, Lake Buena Vista, Florida give date of conference.
Zucker, Mark, 2003, Using Hydrologic Correlation as a Tool to Estimate Flow at Non-Instrumented Estuarine Creeks in Northeastern Florida Bay, in Proceedings from the Joint Conference on the Science and Restoration of the Greater Everglades and Florida Bay Ecosystem Conference, Palm Harbor, Florida, April 13-18, 2003).
Zucker, Mark, Woods, Jeff, 2006, Northeastern Florida Bay Estuarine and Joe Bay Estuarine Creek Data, 2001-2005, in Proceedings from the 2006 Greater Everglades Ecosystem Restoration Conference, Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
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