This Port Everglades Shipping Channel (PESC) Study is a collaborative proposal of several partners to investigate the potential pollutant loading characteristics of the Port Everglades Inlet to the Southeast Florida Coastal Ocean, which includes an ecological and economical important coral reef systems.

Pt. Everglades Inlet.

Figure 1. Port Everglades Inlet, with "X" marking location of PESC instrumentation.

While many efforts have brought attention to the possibility of poor water quality adversely affecting Southeast Florida reef tracts, a definitive mass balance loading calculation has not been possible due to the lack of water quality and hydrological data.  The number and variety of potential loading sources (anthropogenic and natural) onshore and offshore and of chemical constituents adds to the complexity to this question.

As the deepest channel on the SE Florida coast, the Port Everglades Inlet potentially represents one of the largest sources of potential pollutant loads from inland waters to the coastal ocean off of Southeast Florida.  To calculate the mass flux through the inlet, both the volume of water and the concentrations of potential pollutants exiting this inlet on outgoing tides need to be measured. To address that need, NOAA has installed a side-looking Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) in the Port Everglades channel.  The ADCP and associated instrumentation will provide data leading to the accurate determinations of the water volume transport through the inlet. As chemical concentration data becomes available, a mass balance calculation of pollutant loads exiting the Port Everglades Inlet can be performed.  It is hoped that this information may provide a basis for the development of water quality protection and management initiatives.


A 300-kHz HADCP (Teledyne RD Instruments) was installed in February, 2009, on the south side of the Port Everglades inlet (Figure 1). The instrument is mounted on the USCG #7 channel marker a few meters from the southern bank (Figure 2). Data from the instrument has been recorded since the installation. The instrument will remain in place through 2011.

A number of meteorological instruments have been installed on the south side of the inlet (near "X" in Figure 1, 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.