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RESTORATION PLAN FOR THE NORTHWEST FORK OF THE LOXAHATCHEE RIVER PowerPoint Presentation
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RESTORATION PLAN FOR THE NORTHWEST FORK OF THE LOXAHATCHEE RIVER

RESTORATION PLAN FOR THE NORTHWEST FORK OF THE LOXAHATCHEE RIVER

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RESTORATION PLAN FOR THE NORTHWEST FORK OF THE LOXAHATCHEE RIVER

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  1. 2011 ADDENDUM: RESTORATION PLAN FOR THE NORTHWEST FORK OF THE LOXAHATCHEE RIVER 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

  2. Acknowledgements of Contributions • 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Preferred Restoration Flow Scenario • 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

  7. Loxahatchee Science Plan • 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

  8. 2011 Addendum • 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: • Salinity and Stage • Floodplain Vegetation • Floodplain fish and wildlife • Estuarine Flora and Fauna • Water Quality • Restoration project progress

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Addendum Summary • The results of the new analysis strengthened the validity of the flow scenarios developed in the 2006 plan • 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

  12. 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

  13. Special Thanks… • 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

  14. Thank You Questions? Patti Gorman Science Supervisor, Applied Sciences Water Resources Division