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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.

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restoration plan for the northwest fork of the loxahatchee river

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

acknowledgements of contributions
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
history of efforts to provide scientific support
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
2006 restoration plan northwest fork of the loxahatchee river
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
valued ecosystem components for restoration
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
preferred restoration flow scenario
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
loxahatchee science plan
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
2011 addendum
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
list of studies conducted after 2006 plan reported in the 2011 addendum
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
studies continued
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
addendum summary
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
timeline and next steps
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
special thanks
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
slide15

Thank You

Questions?

Patti Gorman

Science Supervisor, Applied Sciences

Water Resources Division