indicated, “a generally west-to-east movement of water through the interior of the Bay that eventually exits through the tidal channels between keys on the southeastern and southern sides of the bay.” These authors concluded their analysis of 15 years of physical observations by emphasizing that “[a]veraging over tidal periods and the longer time scales associated with meteorological forcing…reveals transport pathways that represent a clear coupling between Gulf and Atlantic sides of the Keys. Gulf-to-Atlantic transport can be either around the Keys…or it can involve a more complex route through Florida Bay and the tidal channels…” Numerous drifter studies have shown that Shark River Slough water tends to pass along the western boundary of Florida Bay and must often have access to the central Bay (Lee et al., 2002). Boyer et al. (1999) believed that they could see the effect of “a freshening of the waters of the southwest Florida Shelf from Shark Slough drainage” on salinity declines in western Florida Bay. Additional qualitative information about the linkage of the Bay with Shark River Slough discharge is provided by D’Sa et al. (2002) on the basis of remote sensing of salinity patterns. These researchers concluded that “Gulf waters entering the bay primarily from the northwest (near East Cape) entrain freshwater from the Shark River Slough and other smaller rivers in southwest Florida as indicated by the lower salinities observed in the vicinity of Cape Sable…” (Figure 2).

FIGURE 4 Average annual overland flows toward Whitewater Bay and Florida Bay for the 31-year simulation period. Comparison of flows across Shark River Slough (SRS) and Craighead Basin/Taylor Slough/Eastern Panhandle (TS) cross-sections for different modeled scenarios. (Cross-section locations are shown in inset map of northeastern Everglades National Park; see Figure 1 for larger map.) Definitions of NSM45F (Natural System Model), 95BSR (1995 base or “current condition”), 50BSR (2050 base or “without project condition”), and D13R4 are given in Appendix B. The TS data include Eastern Panhandle flows that discharge to water bodies other than Florida Bay (see Figure 3 for details); total flows to Florida Bay for the 1995 base are actually similar to those of the other model runs. Note: NSM water depths at key ENP gage locations are used as operational targets for most alternatives. NSM flows are NOT targets and are shown for comparative purposes only. Source: USACE, 1999. (Also available at http://www.everglades-plan.org/pub/restudy_eis.shtml.)



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