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Conceptual diagram illustrating water cycle processes

To better understand altered freshwater inflows to the Rookery Bay estuary, a series of research projects focused on hydraulic and hydrologic modeling. Two models were created, including a current conditions model and a natural systems model that represents pre-development, or historic, conditions in the Rookery Bay watershed. These were used to identify potential freshwater inflow goals for the Rookery Bay estuary and to analyze several scenarios. A hydrologic model is a computer-based representation of the water cycle, which is the movement of water on, above, and under the earth's surface (see figure above). A seventh effort focused on identifying and summarizing watershed management projects that were proposed within the Collier County Watershed Management Plan (WMP). The WMP is the community's guiding document and the research results obtained from the modeling effort have already informed those projects. This series of hydrology-related project elements resulted in a series of recommendations related to the future use of models, the identification of watershed subbasins with water deficits and overages, and increased understanding of the challenges and benefits of proposed watershed projects.

Download printer-friendly fact sheet (4 MB) about hydrologic modeling


Existing Conditions and Natural Systems Rookery Bay Watershed Model including the Identification of Estuarine Inflow Goals (18.7 MB)
Henderson Creek Weir/Gate Operation Scenario (4.1 MB)
Belle Meade Agricultural Area Conversion Scenarios (5.4 MB)
Rookery Bay/Fakahatchee Bay Watershed Comparison (5.7 MB)
Compilation of Proposed Watershed Improvement Projects within the Rookery Bay Watershed (3.3 MB)


View the technical reports produced as part of the Restoring the Rookery Bay Estuary project

Project Advisory Group

Project Advisory GroupEarly in the project a Project Advisory Group (PAG) was formed to advise and guide the research process. By the project's conclusion, the PAG included approximately 30 stakeholders with expertise in water resources management from diverse sectors including local, state and federal governments, non-profits, and the private sector. This group did double duty by vetting ideas in advance, and then reviewing final results after contracted projects were completed. 

By the Numbers

Rookery Bay Infographic horiz 250

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