Peace River Cumulative Impact Assessment

Project Description

This study is being performed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) at the direction of the Florida Legislature and in accordance with Chapter 2003-423, Laws of Florida, enacted by the 2003 legislative session. The purpose of the study is to assess the cumulative impacts of activities in the Peace River basin, and to form the basis for preparation of a resource management plan. The subsequent resource management plan (not a part of this study) will identify regulatory and non-regulatory means to minimize future impacts to the basin. SWFWMD staff are providing technical assistance and are part of a project management team with the DEP.

Objectives

The objective of this project is to assess the cumulative effects of historical land use, water use, and climate changes within the study area on Peace River stream flows, water quality, and ecological factors. To this end, the project will develop a database of existing information and apply statistical and other analytical techniques to assess the degree of influence these factors have had on the Peace River drainage basin, including Charlotte Harbor.

Tasks

In order to meet the work objectives above, the work will be divided into six distinct tasks:

  1. Review the literature, inventory existing data, create project database, assess data needs, develop conceptual models, and develop a detailed Scope of Work
  2. Conduct detailed assessments of changes in land use, streamflow, rainfall, water quality, and ecological factors, including stream alteration and wetlands, at the basin-wide and sub-basin level
  3. Analyze causal factors related to streamflow changes
  4. Evaluate effectiveness of existing regulatory programs
  5. Summarize findings in a written report
  6. Meet with the project management team and interested stakeholders at regular intervals to update progress of the study

The DEP may terminate or modify the project at the end of any task if, based on the work to date, the DEP does not believe that the objectives can be achieved within the time frame of the project. At the conclusion of this study, the consultant will likely assist the DEP in the development of a management plan. Decisions regarding funding for this aspect and whether consultant services will be needed in the development of a management plan will be made at a later date at the discretion of DEP staff. The project duration is from September 2004 through June 2005 and may be extended by the DEP. The total project cost is $750,000, funded entirely by the DEP.

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