Our center is designed to measure the levels of contaminants in the fragile South Florida aquatic system, and develop appropriate remediation strategies for them. Specifically, we will characterize and quantify contaminants and excessive nutrients, measure their transport and transformations, and model their likely impacts on ecosystem services in a gradient of urbanized freshwater ecosystems.
In this Partnership Supplement focusing on Mangrove Ecology, we seek to enhance the Center by expanding the expertise on our research team to add an exploration of mangrove ecosystems, which serve as the filter and connection between the freshwater and marine ecosystems. This supplement will:
- Establish a collaborative partnership among the Florida Coastal Everglades LTER, Puerto Rico Luquillo LTER, and the University of Puerto Rico CREST Center for Mangrove Ecology.
- Enhance our technical expertise and capabilities by supporting two new collaborating scientists with expertise in coastal geology, biostratigraphy and sedimentology.
- Provide funding to initiate a pilot project comparing S. Florida and Puerto Rico mangrove ecosystems.
- Provide enhanced educational opportunities through an exchange program between FIU and UPR students from both the CREST and LTER projects.
- This Partnership supplement will enhance the broader impacts of the originally proposed CREST Center by adding opportunities for students and faculty in Puerto Rico to participate in CREST CAChE research and education activities.
- Additional students will have access to the CREST support for their STEM graduate degrees, as well as proposed professional development activities.
- By expanding the research component of CAChE, this supplement will also enhance the Center’s ability to develop technologies for improving water quality analysis and contaminant detection, as well as to translate research findings into actionable information for decision-makers and stakeholders in both Florida and Puerto Rico.