In response to the growing number of environmental concerns in the mostly pristine Suwannee River Basin and the Suwannee River Estuary system, the States of Florida and Georgia, the Federal government, and other local organizations have identified the Suwannee River as an ecosystem in need of protection because of its unique biota and important water resources. Organizations with vested interests in the region formed a coalition, the Suwannee Basin Interagency Alliance (SBIA), whose goals are to promote coordination in the identification, management, and scientific knowledge of the natural resources in the basin and estuary. To date, an integrated assessment of the physical, biological, and water resources has not been completed.
A holistic, multi-disciplinary approach is being pursued to address the research needs in the basin and estuary and to provide supportive data for meeting management objectives of the entire ecosystem. The USGS is well situated to focus on the larger concerns of the basin and estuary by addressing specific research questions linking water supply and quality to ecosystem function and health across county and state boundaries. A strategic plan is being prepared in cooperation with Federal, State, and local agencies to identify and implement studies to address the most compelling research issues and management questions, and to conduct fundamental environmental monitoring studies.
The USGS, Suwannee River Water Management District and the Florida Marine Research Institute are co-sponsoring this scientific workshop on the Suwannee River Basin and Estuary to:
Discuss current and past research findings,
Identify information gaps and research priorities, and
Develop an action plan for coordinated and relevant research activities in the future.
This workshop builds on the highly successful basin-wide conference sponsored by the Suwannee Basin Interagency Alliance that was held three years ago in Live Oak, Florida. This years workshop will focus on identifying information needs and priorities and developing partnerships. The USGS is seeking to define the role of the USGS Florida Integrated Science Center (FISC) in conducting integrated research in the Suwannee River Basin, and to establish a cooperative program with other agencies. Participants interested in river, floodplain, springs, estuary, or basin-wide issues are encouraged to attend. Topics for this years workshop include:
Water quality and geochemistry: nutrient enrichment, reduction of nutrient loading to ground
water, contaminants, and land use,
Hydrogeology: interactions among ground water, surface water and ecosystem, modeling, and baseline mapping,
Ecosystem dynamics: structure, process, species, and habitats (estuarine, riverine, floodplain, and wetland), and
Information management: data sharing, database development, geographic information system (GIS), and basin-wide models.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Suwannee river basin and estuary integrated science workshop: September 22-24, 2004 Cedar Key, Florida