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Southwest Florida Coastal and Wetland Systems Monitoring

Project Chief: Edwardo Patino
Link to Web site:
Cooperator:Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) / Monitoring and Assessment Plan
Period of Project: October 1999 - Current

Problem Statement

Hydrologic information throughout the Everglades ecosystem is essential to the development of restoration strategies and for future evaluation of restoration results. There are significant hydrologic information gaps in Everglades wetlands and estuaries that need to be addressed, particularly along Florida's southwest coast. Among these data gaps are information on flow, water level, and salinity. This project, in conjunction with the Everglades National Park's (ENP) marine monitoring network, will provide water level, salinity, and flow information at key points within the mangrove zone along the southwest coast of ENP. This project also will include a wetland component designed to provide water level, salinity, and "sheet flow" velocity at selected points within the "sloughs" (flow paths) flowing into the estuaries. Hydrodynamic modelers of the Everglades, Florida Bay, southwest coast estuaries, and other adjacent marine systems, will use these data to calibrate and verify models describing flow patterns throughout ENP.


  1. Describe the salinity patterns in relation to freshwater inflows to the estuaries and tidal exchange with the Gulf of Mexico.
  2. Provide support for the USGS Tides and Inflows in the Mangroves of the Everglades (TIME) model and to programs like the Everglades Long Term Ecological Research (LTER).
  3. Provide baseline hydrologic information to researchers and resource managers from other federal and state agencies, universities, and local institutions.


Data collection at all flow sites includes continuous (15-minute interval) measurements of water level, water velocity, salinity, and temperature. Calibration measurements of discharge (no discharge measurements at wetland sites) also are made. Data collection at sites without the flow component will include continuous (15-minute interval) measurements of water level, salinity, and temperature. Most continuous data are recorded by data collection platforms and transmitted every 4 hours to Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) into the database of the USGS office in south Florida. For stations at which transmission of data is not possible or required, data will be logged, retrieved, and stored into the database of the USGS office in south Florida.

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