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This report serves as a summary of our efforts to date in the execution of the Water Quality Monitoring Project for the FKNMS as part of the Water Quality Protection Program. The period of record for this report is Apr. 1995 – Dec. 2017 and includes data from 92 quarterly sampling events within the FKNMS (23 years). Field parameters measured at each station (surface and bottom at most sites) include salinity (practical salinity scale), temperature (ºC), dissolved oxygen (DO, mg l-1 ), turbidity (NTU), relative fluorescence, and light attenuation (Kd, m-1 ). Water quality variables include the dissolved nutrients nitrate (NO3 - ), nitrite (NO2 - ), ammonium (NH4 + ), and soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP). Total unfiltered concentrations include those of nitrogen (TN), organic carbon (TOC), phosphorus (TP), silicate (SiO2) and chlorophyll a (CHLA, μg l-1 ). The EPA developed Strategic Targets for the Water Quality Monitoring Project (SP-47) which state that beginning in 2008 through 2017, they shall annually maintain the overall water quality of the near shore and coastal waters of the FKNMS according to 2005 baseline. For reef sites, chlorophyll a should be less than or equal to 0.35 µg l-1 and the vertical attenuation coefficient for downward irradiance (Kd, i.e., light attenuation) should be less than or equal to 0.20 m-1 . For all monitoring sites in FKNMS, dissolved inorganic nitrogen should be less than or equal to 0.75 µM (0.010 ppm) and total phosphorus should be less than or equal to 0.25 µM (0.0077 ppm). Table 1 shows the number of sites and percentage of total sites exceeding these Strategic Targets for 2017. We must recognize that the reduction of sampling sites in western FKNMS (less human-impacted sites) and the increase in inshore sites (heavily human-impacted sites) introduces a bias to the dataset which results in a reporting problem, perhaps requiring a revision of SP-47 to correct this deviation. To avoid such complications, we have not included the recently added locations (#500 to #509) in the calculation of compliances.


US EPA Agreement #X7-00049716-0

This is contribution number 887T from the Southeast Environmental Research Center, Institute of Water & Environment at Florida International University

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