DOES WATER FLOW INFLUENCE EVERGLADES LANDSCAPE PATTERNS?

Committee on Restoration of the Greater Everglades Ecosystem

Water Science and Technology Board

Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology

Division on Earth and Life Studies

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
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DOES WATER FLOW INFLUENCE EVERGLADES LANDSCAPE PATTERNS? Committee on Restoration of the Greater Everglades Ecosystem Water Science and Technology Board Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology Division on Earth and Life Studies NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu

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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. Supported by the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force, U.S. Department of the Interior, under assistance of Cooperative Agreement No. 5280-9-9029, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authoring committee and should not be interpreted as representing the official policies, either expressed or implied, of the U. S. Government. International Standard Book Number 0-309-08963-8 (Book) International Standard Book Number 0-309-52554-3 (PDF) Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu Copyright 2003 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council www.national-academies.org

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COMMITTEE ON RESTORATION OF THE GREATER EVERGLADES ECOSYSTEM (CROGEE)1,2 JEAN M. BAHR, Chair, University of Wisconsin, Madison SCOTT W. NIXON3, Vice-Chair, University of Rhode Island, Narragansett BARBARA L. BEDFORD3, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York LINDA K. BLUM3, University of Virginia, Charlottesville PATRICK L. BREZONIK, University of Minnesota, St. Paul FRANK W. DAVIS, University of California, Santa Barbara WILLIAM L. GRAF, University of South Carolina, Columbia WAYNE C. HUBER3, Oregon State University, Corvallis STEPHEN R. HUMPHREY3, University of Florida, Gainesville DANIEL P. LOUCKS3, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York KENNETH W. POTTER3, University of Wisconsin, Madison KENNETH H. RECKHOW, Duke University LARRY ROBINSON, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Tallahassee HENRY J. VAUX, JR. University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Oakland JOHN VECCHIOLI, U.S. Geological Survey (ret.), Odessa, Florida JEFFREY R. WALTERS3, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg NRC Staff STEPHEN D. PARKER, Director, Water Science and Technology Board DAVID J. POLICANSKY, Associate Director, Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology WILLIAM S. LOGAN3, Senior Staff Officer, Water Science and Technology Board PATRICIA JONES KERSHAW, Staff Associate, Water Science and Technology Board EMILY ANDERSON, Science and Technology Policy Intern, Water Science and Technology Board 1   The activities of the Committee on Restoration of the Greater Everglades Ecosystem (CROGEE) are overseen and supported by the NRC’s Water Science and Technology Board (lead) and Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology (see Appendix B). 2   Biographical sketches of committee members are contained in Appendix C. 3   A subgroup consisting of CROGEE members Ken Potter (chair), Barbara Bedford, Linda Blum, Wayne Huber, Steve Humphrey, Pete Loucks, Scott Nixon, and Jeff Walters, with support from NRC senior staff officer William Logan and staff associate Patricia Jones Kershaw, took the lead in drafting this report.

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Preface This report is a product of the Committee on Restoration of the Greater Everglades Ecosystem (CROGEE), which provides consensus advice to the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force (“Task Force”). The Task Force was established in 1993 and was codified in the 1996 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA); its responsibilities include the development of a comprehensive plan for restoring, preserving and protecting the south Florida ecosystem, and the coordination of related research. The CROGEE, established in 1999, works under the auspices of the Water Science and Technology Board and the Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology of the National Research Council. The CROGEE’s mandate (see Box ES-1) includes providing the Task Force with scientific overview and technical assessment of the restoration activities and plans, while also providing focused advice on technical topics of importance to the restoration efforts. One such topic addressed by the Committee, under the purview of its approved CROGEE task category of Ecological Indicators, is the methods by which hydrologic performance measures are identified for the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan and the way that these measures will be used to assess the restoration process. The Workshop on Flows and Levels in the Ridge and Slough Region of the Everglades, held by the CROGEE in Miami, Florida, on October 15, 2002, examined how flow might be incorporated into hydrologic performance measures for restoration, and what the practical implications of this might be. The workshop was open to the public and was attended by about 50 people from federal, state, and local government, universities, consulting firms, and environmental organizations. The agenda and list of attendees are shown in Appendix A. The basis for the workshop was the Science Coordination Team’s (SCT) August 2002 draft White Paper titled The Role of Flow in the Everglades Ridge and Slough Landscape. Reviewers’ comments on this draft were also available. A panel of experts was assembled to give presentations, participate in discussions, and answer questions on the theme of the workshop. Subsequent to the workshop, the CROGEE deliberated the issues on several occasions. The conclusions and recommendations of this report take into account a subsequent revision of the White Paper by the SCT. The executive summary of the final version of the White Paper is in Appendix E, and the full report is available online at http://www.sfrestore.org/sct/docs/. The CROGEE is grateful for the assistance of the scientists and engineers at the workshop who freely shared their insights. These included (listed alphabetically): Tom Armentano (National Park Service), Nick Aumen (National Park Service), Ronnie Best (U.S. Geological Survey), Dan Childers (Florida International University), Billy Cypress (Miccosukee Tribe of Indians), Elizabeth Crisfield (National Park Service), Steve Davis

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(South Florida Water Management District), Robert Fennema (SAIC), Harry Jenter (U.S. Geological Survey), Bob Johnson (National Park Service), Bill Loftus (U.S. Geological Survey), Tom MacVicar (MacVicar, Federico & Lamb, Inc.), Christopher McVoy (South Florida Water Management District), John Ogden (South Florida Water Management District), Terry Rice (independent consultant), Fred Sklar (South Florida Water Management District), Kim Taplin (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers), Tom Van Lent (National Park Service), Randy Van Zee (South Florida Water Management District), and Dewey Worth (South Florida Water Management District). I thank the CROGEE members for their work on this report, especially a subgroup led by Ken Potter and including Barbara Bedford, Linda Blum, Wayne Huber, Steve Humphrey, Pete Loucks, Scott Nixon, and Jeff Walters. With assistance from NRC staff officer William Logan and staff associate Patricia Jones Kershaw, they took the lead in drafting this report. This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise in accordance with procedures approved by the NRC’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: John W. Day, Jr., Louisiana State University Paul H. Glaser, University of Minnesota Denise Janet Reed, University of New Orleans Bruce L. Rhoads, University of Illinois Rebecca R. Sharitz, University of Georgia and Savannah River Ecology Laboratory Raymond Torres, University of South Carolina Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Stephen J. Burges, University of Washington, Seattle. Appointed by the National Research Council, Dr. Burges was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution. Jean M. Bahr, Chair Committee on Restoration of the Greater Everglades Ecosystem

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Contents     EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   1 1   INTRODUCTION   5 2   THE RIDGE AND SLOUGH LANDSCAPE: SIGNIFICANCE, DEGRADATION, ORIGIN, AND MAINTENANCE   8     Overview of the White Paper   8     Ecological Significance of the Ridge and Slough   11     Evidence of Degradation of the Ridge and Slough Landscape   11     Possible Mechanisms for the Ridge and Slough Formation and Maintenance   12 3   RESEARCH NEEDS AND PERFORMANCE MEASURES   16     Research Needs   16     Performance Measures   18 4   CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS   20     REFERENCES   22 APPENDIX A—   AGENDA   25 APPENDIX B—   MEMBERS OF THE WATER SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY BOARD AND BOARD ON ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES AND TOXICOLOGY   29 APPENDIX C—   BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF THE COMMITTEE ON RESTORATION OF THE GREATER EVERGLADES ECOSYSTEM   31 APPENDIX D—   A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE EVERGLADES   35 APPENDIX E—   EXECUTIVE SUMMARY – THE ROLE OF FLOW IN THE EVERGLADES RIDGE AND SLOUGH LANDSCAPE   40

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