National Park Service

South Florida/Caribbean I&M Network (SFCN)

Water Quality Monitoring

Queen butterfly at Big Cypress National Preserve
Queen butterfly at Big Cypress National Preserve.

Water quality is an important driver in SFCN parks. Everglades National Park and Big Cypress National Preserve are oligotrophic so small increases in nutrients can cause a cascade of changes in the system from the periphyton (algal mat) composition to spread of cattails and invasive plants. SFCN is monitoring Periphyton in western Big Cypress National Preserve while partners are monitoring periphyton in Everglades National Park and north in the Water Conservation Areas. Parks and partners are already extensively monitoring Nutrient Dynamics and Water Chemistry and SFCN has funded a post-doc researcher to determine reporting and interpretation of these large datasets. Parks and partners are monitoring changes in Estuarine Salinity Patterns in Biscayne Bay and Florida Bay and likewise Phytoplankton algal blooms. Contaminants are important but very expensive to monitor so SFCN monitoring is deferred but SFCN is collaborating with researchers when opportunities arise.

Individual vital signs in this category are also listed in the table below.

Vital Signs Monitored by the SFCN and Our Partners

Vital Signs Category Monitored by SFCN
and Partners
Monitored by Partners Only and/or Deferred**
Water Quality

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Last Updated: March 27, 2017 Contact Webmaster