University of Florida

Best Management Practices & Water Resources

For more information contact Samira Daroub.

Current Research

Implementation and Verification of BMPs To Reduce Everglades Agricultural Area Farm P Loads:Floating Aquatic Vegetation Impact on Farm P Load:

The goal of this research is improved management of floating aquatic vegetation (FAV) in Everglades Agricultural Area farm canals. The hypothesis of the research is that FAV-free canals will be found to produce more cohesive, less reactive sediments due to increased light penetration resulting from the change in farm canal aquatic plant community.

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Synoptic sediment collection and analysis investigation of the primary canals in two of the Eastern sub basins.

The objective of this research is characterize the sediments in the Eastern EAA Sub-Basins at two major canals: the West Palm Beach and the Hillsborough Canals during the wet and dry season.

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Water and Livelihood Initiative (WLI) in Middle East.

The goal of the WLI is to improve the livelihoods of rural households and communities in areas where water scarcity, land degradation, water quality deterioration, food security and health problems are prevalent in the seven participating countries (Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Iraq and Yemen), focusing initially on specific benchmark sites. This project is directed by ICARDA (International Center for Research in the Dry Areas) and funded by USAID (US Agency for International Development). There are 7 participating US universities (U of Florida, U of California, Davis, U of California, Riverside, Texas A&M, Utah State U, and U of Illinois). In addition, there are several Middle Eastern Universities participating.

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NELAC Certified Laboratory

The water quality laboratory of the IFAS Everglades Research and Education Center (EREC) has been certified by the State of Florida Department of Health (FDOH), Bureau of Laboratories upon successful on-going compliance with the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Conference (NELAC) standards since 2000.  It has been continually complied with Florida Administrative Code (FAC) 64E-1 regulations for the examination of environmental samples in the category of general chemistry no-potable water.  An attestation of compliance with the NELAC standards and the FAC 64E-1 regulations has been renewed annually to maintain the effectiveness of the NELAC Accreditation.  Proficiency test samples from Environmental Resource Associate were analyzed and results reported to the FDOH twice  yearly.  In addition, our laboratory has also been involved in the Everglades Round Robin Inter-laboratory comparison program initiated by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection since 1995 for the purpose of assessing the comparability of phosphorus data from laboratories engaged in the analysis of samples from the Everglades research.  The state laboratory ID of this laboratory is E76463, and the EPA Lab Code is FL00912.  Quality assurance objectives and quality control procedures are specified in a laboratory quality manual and the laboratory standard operation procedures, which are updated maintained by a QA officer on a timely basis.  Quality control criteria regarding P determination and specific conductance sensor drift or biofouling are: Total P > 0.01 mg L-1; total dissolve P > 0.01 mg L-1; particulate P > 0.01 mg L-1; and specific conductance < 0.1 dS m-1 at 1.413 dS m-1 (0.01 M KCl).  For more information regarding the QA/QC of the laboratory or the certification of the laboratory, please contact Dr. Samira Daroub at (561) 993-1593.

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BMP Trainings and Workshops

The objective of this activity is to enhance the dissemination of existing BMPs to all growers in the EAA. The BMP workshops and seminars will be conducted for groups of growers. These venues emphasize the importance of correct BMP implementation and introduce new and effective implementation techniques as they become available.  Following are the activities associated with this project task:

  • BMP implementation workshops and seminars. We will continue to conduct workshops for groups of growers. A total of 7 to 9 workshops are normally conducted per year. One to three workshops will be held for each of the major grower entities to ensure complete participation.  In addition, a general workshop open to all will be held once a year to make sure all growers have the opportunity to participate. An open, general BMP workshop conducted in Spanish is scheduled for the fall of 2006.
  • BMP extension publications. We produce electronic presentations for BMP workshops, extension personnel, and others involved in enhancing EAA water quality. Also produced are online extension web pages explaining effective BMP implementation in the EAA. The extension publications include a complete description and explanation of the SFWMD's BMP table, as well as information about UF/IFAS research results concerning the control of particulate P transport including aquatic weed management, reducing velocities in canals, and maintaining minimum canal levels. These documents are available at the UF/IFAS EDIS website.
  • Pesticide training continues through the IFAS extension office in Belle Glade. We also continue to educate growers in the wise use of Amertryn and Atrazine during every phosphorus BMP workshop that we conduct.

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