2011 Restoration Plan for the Northwest Fork of the Loxahatchee River

Report
S O U T H
F L O R I D A
W A T E R
M A N A G E M E N T
D I S T R I C T
A 5 year Addendum to the 2006 Plan
Patti Gorman
Science Supervisor, Applied Sciences
Water Resources Division
Loxahatchee River Management Coordinating Council
–
January 30, 2012
S O U T H
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F L O R I D A
W A T E R
M A N A G E M E N T
D I S T R I C T
Florida Park Service
Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Loxahatchee River District
Palm Beach County
Martin County
University of Florida
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission
Continental Shelf Associates
S O U T H
F L O R I D A
W A T E R
M A N A G E M E N T
D I S T R I C T
History of Efforts to
Provide Scientific Support
 Technical document to support development of
Loxahatchee Minimum Flows and Levels for
the Northwest Fork of the Loxahatchee River
completed in 2002
 Restoration Plan for the Northwest Fork of the
Loxahatchee River completed in 2006
 Loxahatchee River Science Plan completed in
2010
 Addendum to the Restoration Plan for the
Northwest Fork of the Loxahatchee River
completed in 2011
S O U T H
F L O R I D A
W A T E R
M A N A G E M E N T
D I S T R I C T
2006 Restoration Plan
Northwest Fork of the Loxahatchee River
 Inter-agency Team
 Major Goal was to develop appropriate
restoration flow scenarios
 Detailed Integrated Modeling and Science
• Linkages between watershed and river
• Emphasis on hydrology-salinity-ecological indicators
• Management implications elucidated
S O U T H
F L O R I D A
W A T E R
M A N A G E M E N T
D I S T R I C T
Valued Ecosystem
Components for Restoration
 Cypress swamp and hydric hammock in
the riverine reach
 Cypress swamp in the tidal floodplain
 Fish larvae in the low salinity zone
 Oysters in the mid-estuary
 Seagrasses in the outer estuary
S O U T H
F L O R I D A
W A T E R
M A N A G E M E N T
D I S T R I C T
Preferred Restoration Flow
Scenario
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Variable dry season flow between
50 and 110cfs, with a mean
monthly flow of 69 cfs over
Lainhart dam and an additional 30
cfs from the downstream
tributaries when needed
S O U T H
F L O R I D A
W A T E R
M A N A G E M E N T
D I S T R I C T
S O U T H
F L O R I D A
W A T E R
M A N A G E M E N T
D I S T R I C T
Loxahatchee Science Plan
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Multi-agency team
 Developed in response to comments received
during development and review of the 2006
Restoration Plan
 Looks at the needs of the entire river and
estuary not just the Northwest Fork
 Helped to guide focused science to reduce
uncertainties and close data gaps
 Used to prioritize future scientific studies
S O U T H
F L O R I D A
W A T E R
M A N A G E M E N T
D I S T R I C T
2011 Addendum
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Called an addendum because it is not a
reevaluation of flow scenarios
It is a compilation of new knowledge gained in
key areas that were identified as needing more
information
New Research and monitoring was organized
into 6 major categories:
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Salinity and Stage
Floodplain Vegetation
Floodplain fish and wildlife
Estuarine Flora and Fauna
Water Quality
Restoration project progress
S O U T H
F L O R I D A
W A T E R
M A N A G E M E N T
D I S T R I C T
List of Studies
Conducted after 2006 plan - reported in the 2011 addendum
 Continuous stage monitoring at transects
1 and 3
 Groundwater, soil moisture, and pore
water salinity data collection and analysis
 Floodplain vegetation surveys conducted
in 2007, 2009 and 2010
 Salinity and inundation of Bald Cypress
and Pond Apple seedlings
S O U T H
F L O R I D A
W A T E R
M A N A G E M E N T
D I S T R I C T
Studies (continued)
 Loxahatchee River Vegetation Demonstration
Research Project
 Fish distribution and movement related to flow
and stage
 Floodplain wildlife utilization
 Seagrass and oyster monitoring
 Oyster restoration
 Water quality monitoring
 Salinity monitoring
S O U T H
F L O R I D A
W A T E R
M A N A G E M E N T
D I S T R I C T
Addendum Summary
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The results of the new analysis strengthened the
validity of the flow scenarios developed in the
2006 plan
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Flow-salinity relationships re-evaluated and confirmed
Confirmed that groundwater contributions to the river can be a
significant source of water to the river especially in the dry
season
Inundation of saltwater on the floodplain during high tides, not
diffusion of saltwater in the river channel into the aquifer
contributed to high porewater salinity in the floodplain
Bald cypress showed an increase in seedling production in the
upper tidal reach
Alligators and small mammals seem to be the best wildlife
indicators for the river
New seagrass maps showed an increase in acreage
WQ was generally good, N&P below EPA and LRD targets
S O U T H
F L O R I D A
W A T E R
M A N A G E M E N T
D I S T R I C T
Timeline and Next Steps
 Analysis, synthesis and reporting of these
studies completed during 2011
 First DRAFT report reviewed by internal and
external team September – October, 2011
 Final DRAFT compiled and distributed to
Coordinating Council January 11, 2012
 Presentation and discussion today
(January 30th, 2012)
 Incorporate input from Coordinating Council
 Web post final document
S O U T H
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F L O R I D A
W A T E R
M A N A G E M E N T
D I S T R I C T
Staff in the Coastal Ecosystems Section
of the Water Management District, in
particular my co-project lead Fawen
Zheng
Dick Roberts – FPS JDSP(retired)
Rob Rossmanith – FPS District 5
Bud Howard - LRD
S O U T H
F L O R I D A
W A T E R
M A N A G E M E N T
D I S T R I C T
Thank You
Questions?
Patti Gorman
Science Supervisor, Applied Sciences
Water Resources Division

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