SS4.12 Linking Science with Management of Freshwater Resources
Date: Thursday, June 13, 2002
Time: 3:00:00 PM
Location: Carson B
 
HavensKE, South Florida Water Management District, West Palm Beach, FL, USA, khavens@sfwmd.gov
 
DEVELOPMENT AND APPLICATION OF HYDROLOGIC RESTORATION GOALS FOR A LARGE SUBTROPICAL LAKE
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As part of a regional restoration planning project, the Central and South Florida “Restudy,” science-based hydrologic goals were established for Lake Okeechobee, a large multiple purpose lake in south Florida. These goals were used to evaluate alternative restoration plans. An ecosystem conceptual model was developed and used as the framework for establishing hydrologic performance measures for the lake ecosystem. Five distinct performance measures were integrated into a simple community suitability model that was used to assign numeric scores to restoration alternatives. These results were integrated with scores from other parts of the regional system, as well as performance measures related to societal values (e.g., water supply). The selected restoration program, authorized by the United States Congress in 2000, is predicted to benefit Lake Okeechobee by reducing the occurrence of damaging high and low water levels and increasing the occurrence of beneficial spring recessions. The ecosystem conceptual model developed in the Restudy continues to be refined and used as a framework for long-term ecological assessment and research prioritization. The overall approach represents highly effective integration of science with resource management.