The FACE program has conducted several studies ofthe water column in the coastal waters adjoining Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties. Generally, these investigations include visiting a series of monitoring sites for an extended period of time (1-2 years) in one of our small boats or during an extended cruise of the NOAA ship R/V Nancy Foster. At the same time, ocean current measurements via acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) instrumentats are obtained. At each monitoring site, water is obtained at selected depths in the water column and analyzed for a variety of chemical, biological, and physical parameters. The purpose of these studies is to assess the health of the water in this region, in particular to asses land-based sources of pollution into the coastal ocean such as coastal inlets and wastewater treatment plan (WWTP) ocean outfalls. Current as well as completed studies are outlined below.

Figure 1. BDR Sampling Sites.
Boynton-Delray Survey

1. The Boynton-Delray (BDR) Coastal Water Quality Study

During 2007-8, a project was conducted in the waters off of Palm Beach County in the vicinity of the Boynton-Delray (South Central Regional WWTP) and the Boynton Inlet. A series of eighteen water quality monitoring sites were sampled by the R/V Cable or R/V Nancy Foster approximately bimonthly from June 2007 through July 2008 (Figure 1). The samples were analyzed for nutrients and biological entities. A final report on the Boynton-Delray monitoring program is available as a NOAA Technical Report (PDF) .

Outfalls Survey Cruise

Cruises were undertaken on the NOAA R/V Nancy Foster to perform surveys of each of the six TWWP plumes, in 2006 and 2008. The cruise track for the 2006 cruise is shown in Figure 2. Samples were obtained at each of the outfalls as well as sites removed from the immediate boil areas. The cruise included multibeam scans, nutrient and biological sample analyses, and three-dimensional nutrient surveys. Water samples were obtained for chemical and biological analysis. Multi-beam surveys were performed to determine the precise location of the outfall pipe end locations. Three dimensional plume investigations were performed, where vertical profiles of water physical and chemical parameters were obtained at various locations up-current of the outfall plume. Results are provided in a NOAA Technical Report (PDF) .

Pt. Everglades Shipping Channel Study (PESCS)

Port Everglades is a major seaport and as well as a connection of the Intracoastal Waterway into the Atlantic Ocean (Figure 3). To calculate the mass flux through the inlet, NOAA initiated the Port Everglades Shipping Channel (PESC) Study. To measure the flow through the inlet, we installed a 300-kHz HADCP (Teledyne RD Instruments) in February, 2009, on the south side of the Port Everglades inlet (Figure 2). The instrument was in place until 2011. In addition, a number of meteorological instruments have been installed on the south side of the inlet (26°5.549' N, 80°5.532' W). The instrumentation includes: wind speed and direction, relative humidity, dew point, barometric pressure, and rain parameters. The instrumentation has the designation as Buoy PVGF1 of NOAAs National Data Buoy Center, and of station PVGF1 of NOAA's CREWS/ICON coral reef monitoring program. Measurements of chemical concentrations were conducted by FIU for the estimation of chemical fluxes through the inlet. The report, Port Everglades Flow Measurement System, NOAA Technical Report OAR-AOML-42, is available here (pdf).

Broward County Outfalls and Inlets Monitoring program

Figure 2. Broward Sampling Sites
Br-HW survey sampling sites map.

A coastal survey project off of Broward County was conducted from November of 2011 through January of 2013. Sampling sites (Figure 2) were located in the vicinity of the Broward and Hollywood WWTP outfalls, the Hillsboro and Port Everglades inlets, and sites away from these point sources. Data from these cruise is of three types: 1) sea water chemistry; 2) microbiology; and 3) physical oceanography. These results will be available in a NOAA technical document in 2014.

Figure 3. NNCS overview.
NNCS map.






Numeric Nutrients Criteria Study (NNCS)

FACE is currently involved with a three-year project in conjunction with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) to develop a data base for coastal SE Florida that would be used in the development of numeric nutrient standards (NNCS) that will establish standard concentrations for key nutrients in the coastal waters. Field work will include three separate efforts: 1) Water Quality Cruises; 2) Coral Assessments, and 3) Ocean Current Measurements. A final report is scheduled to be released in 2016.