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South Florida Ecosystem Assessment: Everglades Water Management, Soil Loss, Eutrophication and Habitat
EPA 904-R-00-003, September 2000

US-EPA, Region 4, SESD, Athens, Georgia
and Water Management Division, Atlanta, Georgia
and US-EPA, Office of Research and Development

Executive Summary

The United States Environmental Protection Agency South Florida Ecosystem Assessment Project is an innovative, long-term research, monitoring and assessment effort. Its goal is to provide timely scientific information that is critical for management decisions on the Everglades ecosystem and its restoration. The purpose of this report is to document 1993 to 1996 baseline conditions in the Everglades and Big Cypress prior to ecosystem restoration efforts. The project is unique to South Florida in two aspects: (1) its probability-based sampling approach permits quantitative statements about ecosystem health; and (2) its extensive spatial coverage and sampling intensity are unprecedented.

This project:

Samples were collected from the freshwater portion of the Everglades and Big Cypress. From 1993 to 1996 surface water, soil or sediment, periphyton, and mosquitofish were sampled from about 200 canal locations and over 500 marsh locations. These samples represent the ecological condition in over 750 miles of canals and over 3,000 square miles of freshwater marsh. A second phase of sampling, conducted in 1999 at about 250 marsh locations, is summarized in companion reports.

Key findings:

This project provides a critical benchmark for assessing ecosystem health and the effectiveness of Everglades restoration activities into the twenty-first century. As Everglades protection efforts proceed, this probability-based sampling can be repeated to document the effectiveness of these actions.

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South Florida Ecosystem Assessment: Everglades Water Management, Soil Loss, Eutrophication and Habitat
The following document is in Acrobat PDF format. It contains 48 pages and its size is 12.6 MegaBytes Full Report

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