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Water Quality and the Influence of Human Activities

Habitat Research and Restoration

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Water Quality and the Influence of Human Activities


J.N."Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge Landscape Scale Evaluation of Water Quality and Aquatic Habitats, 2009 - current

The sensitive habitats surrounding the barrier islands of Sanibel and Captiva were protected by Congress in 1967 because of their rare beauty and large populations of wading and migratory birds. Numerous threats to the long-term health of these ecosystems include declines in water quality and related habitat losses. Ongoing research and trend analysis at multiple field sites within and around J.N. "Ding" Darling are used to improve the management of these resources.



Nearshore Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Program, 2008 - 2011

In 2008, the Marine Lab began the initial year of a two-year study of nearshore water quality for Captiva and Sanibel Islands, funded through the Captiva Community Panel from the Lee County Tourist Development Council (TDC)'s Beach and Shoreline Capital Improvement Program.  Read more...

Bayous Water Quality Sampling

A water quality project sampling water in Clam Bayou, Sunset Bay and Roosevelt Channel was initiated by volunteers from the Bayous Preservation Association.  After April 2009, the SCCF Marine Lab took over sampling and monthly reporting to BPA and others.   See the reports...


Blind Pass Study (Reopening a Tidal Pass: Implications for Water Quality and Seagrasses, 2009 - 2010

The SCCF Marine Lab was awarded a small Program Development (PD) grant from Florida Sea Grant to contrast water quality and the condition of seagrasses within and adjacent to Blind Pass, before and after the opening of the pass by dredging in summer 2009.  Read more...


RECON Sensors and Crude Oil Detection
RECON’s CDOM fluorometer is very sensitive to crude oil. It can detect anything that fluoresces blue when excited by UV light, which wouldinclude crude oil, colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) as well as hydrocarbons. The RECON turbidity sensor would also be able to detectthe presence of droplets of oil because oil scatters light similar to particles in the water. Learn more...

Habitat Research and Restoration

Bioavailability and Sources of Nutrients and Linkages to Nuisance Macroalgae (2008-2010)
Following several active hurricane seasons and high volume discharges from Lake Okeechobee and the Caloosahatchee basin, a massive red algae bloom was observed in Lee County. A team of scientists from SCCF, Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU), the University of Miami formalized a partnership with local governments to investigate the linkages between water quality and "blooms" of macroalgae.  Read more...

Oyster and Associated Restoration on Sanibel (2008 - present)
Oyster reef habitats were once quite common along Florida’s southwestern coast, based on excavations of shell mounds or ‘middens’ and historical records dating back to the 1800s. The Marine Lab began a volunteer-based restoration project in early 2010. Read more...

Widgeon Grass (Ruppia maritima) Restoration and Monitoring in the Caloosahatchee Using Herbivore Exclosures (2008 - 2009)
Initiated in the summer and fall of 2008, this study is addressing the need for an SAV population that can be used to monitor effects of water quality changes.  Read more...

Bay Scallop Recruitment, Growth and Survival
Although bay scallops were once plentiful throughout much of Florida's west coast, they have virtually disappeared in most areas. Extensive commercial scallop fisheries existed in Charlotte Harbor and Tampa Bay as recently as the 1960s. Scientists believe poor water quality is responsible in large part for these declines.  Read more...   Learn about our Adopt-A-Scallop project.

Clam Bayou Mangroves (2003 - 2012)
Clam Bayou has seen a significant decline in the quality and function of marine habitats, including mangroves, oysters, and seagrass. Storms and other activities (road construction) isolated it from tidal flushing.  Read more...

Last updated 7/23/10