Everglade National Park

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Chapter 7. MONITORING AND EVALUATION

In general, describe how the nominated site addresses monitoring and evaluation


South Florida Natural Resources Center (www.nps.gov/ever/naturescience/sfnrc.htm) and Florida Bay Interagency Science Center (http://keysnews.com/node/20900) are the scientific arms of the greater Everglades National Park/Florida Bay ecosystems and are staffed by approximately 50 professional hydrologists, oceanographers, wildlife biologists, marine biologists, and computer specialists. These entities undertake systematic research and monitoring of the physical and biological resources of the Everglades and Florida Bay ecosystems.

What indicators are used to evaluate management effectiveness and conservation success, and the impact of the management plan on the local communities


Indicators by category Comments
Evaluation of management effectiveness
Water Volume and Distribution Indicator 1A: More historic magnitudes and directions of sheetflow within Shark River Slough are established, with a goal of passing 55% of the total inflows into Northeast Shark River Slough (NESRS): Indicator 1B: Average annual flows into Northeast Shark River Slough approach 550,000 acre-feet, and range between 200,000 ac-ft to 900,000 ac-ft in dry and wet years, respectively.
Evaluation of conservation measures on the status of species populations within and around protected area
Water pattern and water levels (Timing and Spatial Distribution of Surface Water Depths --Hydro-pattern) Indicator 2A: More natural timing and pattern of water depths and flooding durations throughout the park’s ecological communities (sawgrass, ridge and slough, marl prairies) are restored. Indicator 2B: Maximum annual water levels at the upstream inflow to Northeast Shark River Slough average approximately 8.0 feet, and range from 7.5 feet to 8.8 feet in dry and wet years, respectively.
Evaluation of conservation measures on the status of habitats within and around the protected area
Water quality Indicator 3: Water quality Reduce nutrient pollution from upstream agricultural areas and achieve compliance with established State and Federal Water Quality Standards: Indicator 3A: For Total Phosphorus entering ENP the concentration will be reduced to approximate the 50th percentile of the 1978-1979 Outstanding Florida Water (OFW) baseline, based on a 12-month flow weighted mean concentration. For the entire Everglades Protection Area Florida law established a 10 ppb Total Phosphorus Threshold Rule to reduce imbalances in native flora and fauna. Indicator 3B: Periphyton mat cover, structure and composition that were characteristic of the spatially distinct hydroperiods (short and long hydroperiods) and low nutrient conditions in the greater Everglades wetland communities is enhanced. Goal is a measurable positive trend.
Evaluation of conservation measures on the status of ecological processes within and around the protected area
Freshwater Fish and Aquatic Invertebrates The abundance of native fish and aquatic invertebrates is increased to levels that approximate those of pre-drainage conditions. Goal is a measurable positive trend.
Evaluation of the impact of the management plan on the local communities
American Alligator A positive trend in the numbers and distribution of American alligators in freshwater landscapes is demonstrated. Indicator 5A: Annual alligator nesting effort, Indicator 5B: Annual distribution of nests in different basins (Indicator 5C: Annual abundance of alligators)