Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Water Quality

Published: 14 June 2022| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/4h3t638yys.1
Henry Briceño


The Florida Keys are an archipelago, which extend in a NE to SW direction from Miami to Key West and out to the Dry Tortugas. In 1990, President Bush signed into law the Florida Keys National Sanctuary and Protection Act (HR5909) which designated a boundary encompassing >2,800 square nautical miles of islands, coastal waters, and coral reef tract as the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS). The Comprehensive Management Plan required the FKNMS to have a Water Quality Protection Plan (WQPP) thereafter developed by EPA and the State of Florida (EPA 1995). The original agreement for the water quality monitoring component of the WQPP was subsequently awarded to the Southeast Environmental Research Program at Florida International University. Quarterly field sampling program began in March 1995. Field parameters measured at each of 112 station (surface and bottom at most sites) include salinity (practical salinity scale), temperature (°C), dissolved oxygen (mg L-1), turbidity (NTU), photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), and light attenuation (Kd, m-1). Water quality variables (all reported in mg L-1) include the dissolved nutrients NOx (EPA353.4), nitrite (EPA353.4), ammonium (EPA350.1), and soluble reactive phosphorus (EPA365.1). Total unfiltered concentrations include those of nitrogen (ASTM D7156), organic carbon (NU-062-1.8), phosphorus (EPA365.1), silicate (EPA366.0) and chlorophyll a (SM10200H; μg L-1). Spatial biogeochemical characterization of the FKMNS waters using Factor Analysis and Hierarchical Clustering rendered seven biogeochemically distinct water bodies whose spatial distribution is closely linked to geomorphology, circulation, benthic community pattern, and human impact. Water type segments are, Lower, Middle and Upper Keys, Offshore, Marquesas, Back Country, Back Shelf. This segmentation has been adopted with minor changes by federal and state environmental agencies to derive numeric nutrient criteria.


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Data User Agreement Data from the Florida International University, Institute of Environment, Water Quality Monitoring Laboratory are freely available for academic, research, or professional purposes from the following site: http://serc.fiu.edu/wqmnetwork/FKNMS-CD/index.htm Use of the data is subject to the following user terms: 1. User shall notify designated FIU/IoE/WQML researchers when any future work based on or derived from this data is published. 2. User agrees not to redistribute original FIU/IoE/WQML data. 3. User will acknowledge the support of the FIU/IoE/WQML Program and Appropriate grant/contract numbers in any publications using these data with the following citation: ‘Data were provided by the FIU/IoE Water Quality Monitoring Laboratory which is supported by EPA Agreement #X7 00D02412-1, #X7 00049716, NOAA Agreement #NA09NOS4260253,’ 4. User agrees to send 2 reprints of any publications resulting from the use of the data and documentation to the following address: Dr. Henry O. Briceño, Southeast Environmental Research Center, OE-148, Florida International University, Miami, FL 33199; or to bricenoh@fiu.edu By using or copying these data and documentation, the Data User agrees to abide by the terms of this agreement. The data is available as a MS Excel file; to download the file, right-click on the link below and select "Save Target As" from the pop-up menu.


Florida International University


Water Quality Assessment