District scientists have been working in conjunction with staff at the St. Johns River and South Florida water management districts to set up wetland monitoring sites as part of a regional monitoring program.
The collaboration is a result of the Central Florida Water Initiative (CFWI), a water planning effort among government agencies, water utilities, environmental groups, business organizations, agricultural communities and other stakeholders in a five-county area.
Staff recently worked side by side with the other water management districts to set up eight wetland monitoring sites in Polk and Lake counties. The goal is to set up a total of 107 sites across the CFWI area by 2020, with the District tasked with establishing 44 wetland monitoring sites.
And the process is no easy feat. Staff often have to trek deep into remote areas by swamp buggy and then finish the job on foot in the wetlands. They spent several months this summer setting up the sites.
“It’s difficult work, but it will bring tremendous benefits to gathering data for the CFWI,” said Kym Rouse Holzwart, a District senior environmental scientist. “It is also a great opportunity to be able to work with the other water management districts.”
The monitoring sites will help the CFWI team develop and maintain an inventory of available hydrologic, environmental, and other pertinent data and investigations in the region. To learn more about CFWI and its guiding principles, visit CFWIWater.com.