The Florida Bay ecosystem is the point of interaction between the waters of the southern Everglades and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Our rationale is that exchange of water and its constituents between Florida Bay and its adjacent systems is key to understanding the interconnectedness of South Florida?s unique ecosystems. Florida Bay is directly influenced by Shark River Slough drainage from the southern Everglades through the transport of water and nutrients into the system through East Cape Channel. The objective for this study is to quantify the exchange of water and nutrients in the northwest section of Florida Bay as baseline data in the context of proposed changes in the hydrology of the southern Everglades and its direct impact on the Florida Bay ecosystem. The goal of this two year study is to provide a data set of water volume transport and nutrient loading taking place in the channel south of East Cape for an annual period. The research hypothesis is that the East Cape Channel is the most significant point of exchange of water and nutrients for Florida Bay. The flux estimates will be compared with existing values from other bay boundaries such as Taylor Slough inputs and exchange through keys tidal channels and used to refine existing Florida Bay nutrient budgets. This study will be conducted using mid-channel current and depth measurements, channel calibration runs to quantify volumes imported and exported over tidal and longer time scales, and coordinated nutrient samplings at a range of temporal scales from hours to days.
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science
Foundation through the Florida Coastal Everglades Long-Term Ecological Research program under
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or
recommendations expressed in the material are those of the
author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National
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