The CRCP 9 report task was the final deliverable of the Coral Reef Conservation Program Turbidity Criterion Team project to understand the relationship of biologically relevant water quality data such as PAR and TSS and its relationship to NTU values used in the current Florida Turbidity Criterion. The project took place across three Phases. Phase I encompassed water quality data collection from Jupiter Island Beach Nourishment Project, Phase II encompassed water quality data collection from Delray Beach Nourishment Project and Ocean Ridge Beach Nourishment Project. Phase III involved the collection of the same data from Port Miami, Port Everglades, and lake Worth Inlet in the absence of beach nourishment projects to serve as “natural background” comparison values. These datasets as well as sediment characteristic data mined from QA/QC documents from each project in Phases I and II were used to understand the relationships among PAR, NTU, and TSS. Although sediment characteristic data did not show statistically significant relationships to these water quality parameters, the relationship between NTU and PAR and TSS and PAR showed similar negative correlation across all sites in Phases I and II. These correlations were absent at the sites from Phase III indicating they likely change during dredging activities. NTU and TSS values also showed positive correlations at all but Lake Worth Inlet, with stronger correlation values for projects in Phases I and II again indicating a change in relationship during dredging. Comparison data among sites in Phases I and II appear to validate a trend of increasing water quality moving away from dredging activities, while comparison among Phase III projects showed site specific variability.
February 14, 2024 - 10:39am
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