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Several important results have been realized from Florida International University’s regional monitoring project. First is the documentation of elevated nutrient concentrations (nitrogen, phosphorous and silica) in waters close to shore along the Keys, and corresponding responses from the system, such as higher phytoplankton biomass (chlorophyll-a), turbidity and light attenuation, as well as lower oxygenation and lower salinities of the water column. These changes, associated to human impact, have become more obvious in a new series of stations located very close to shore, near canal mouths and sampled since November 2011. These waters are part of the so called Halo Zone, a belt following the shoreline which extends up to 500 meters offshore, and whose water quality characteristics are closely related to those in canals and affected by quick movement of infiltrated runoff and wastewaters (septic tanks), tides and high water tables.



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