Compulsory Assignment (Project) Guideline
In South Florida, there are numerous environmental challenges that we face as result of our own activities. Studies have been carried out to understand the problems, assess the risks, and perform restorations works by different governmental and non-governmental organizations. Among these are
1. The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), for web site click here 2. The US Army Core of Engineers, web site here 3. Everglades Trust, web site here 4. Everglades Foundation, web site here
You will use the information available on the web pages of these organizations to learn the environmental challenges we face in our region and the restoration works being in progress.
Once you have general information on the environmental challenges of the area, pick a specific environmental issue that of interest to you. Then, find additional published information on your topic from Broward College Library Online Database and the internet. I recommend this web site as additional resource.
You are expected to find full text of 3 (three ) scientific articles directly related to your topic/title and published on peer-reviewed Scientific Journals .
The following list gives you idea on the environmental topics/areas that are being studied and addressed in South Florida:
• Water quality changes (from agricultural chemicals, industrial liquid discharges) • Changes in Sea Grass Ecosystems – how that relate to water quality changes? • Water quantity and flow pattern changes/modification – changing river course and effects on ecosystems, organisms, community, regional hydrological cycle • Excessive Algal Growth: Eutrophication ( mass fish kill • Accumulation of Toxic Heavy Metals in organisms, eg. organic mercury in fishes and other sea food species, Cadmium, Zinc, etc in organisms tissues and their effects on population health • Alteration of Wetlands (saltwater intrusion, draining wetlands for “developmental projects”): effects on water birds, wading birds, fishes, other wildlife species, regional ecosystems/hydrological cycle • Coral reefs: bleaching, siltation and sedimentation, destruction • Overfishing • Endangered and threatened wildlife species due to habitat alteration/destruction/fragmentation: eg. Florida Panther, Turtles, Wood Stork, Butterflies, Snakes • Dams and their effects fishes spawning migration/fish population or community • Introduction of alien species, invasive species and their effect on the native species and the health of the ecosystem • River Canalization, Flood Control Projects, and Storm Water Management: do they have environmental ramifications? • Effect of nitrogen and phosphorus nutrients from agricultural leachate on aquatic organisms • Environmental challenges on Estuaries: nursery sites for many species: eg. Okeechobee River Estuary. • Ecological roles of indicator species (biological indicator species): eg. sea grasses. Oysters • Ecological roles of wetlands/estuaries/mangrove forests/Kelp forest/coral reefs/coastal wetlands/lagoons • Ecological role of key stone species • Effect of Extreme Weathers (Hurricanes, Tropical Storms) on wetland community structure, water quality, wetland organisms, coastal wetlands, coral reefs. Example: ecological effect of Hurricane Wilma on Coastal Wetlands in South Florida, Everglade Swamp, etc • Restoration Projects: habitat restoration, water quality improvement, removal of nutrients, eg. nitrogen, phosphorus from watersheds/catchments, restoration of water flow to the Everglades (from Lake Okeechobee), aquifer storage and recovery
These are the major ecosystems or habitats that we focus at in South Florida:
1. The Everglades Swamp 2. Lake Okeechobee 3. River Kissimmee 4. Lake Kissimmee 5. St Lucie River/Canal 6.