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North, Leslie A.
Application and refinement of the karst disturbance index in west-central, Florida
h [electronic resource] /
by Leslie A. North.
[Tampa, Fla.] :
b University of South Florida,
ABSTRACT: A hierarchical and standardized environmental disturbance index, specifically designed for karst landscapes, was created by van Beynen and Townsend (2005). To assess the applicability of the index and provide recommendations for its refinement, the index was applied in four west-central Florida counties and interviews were conducted with local and state officials, community planners, and land resource managers. The karst disturbance index consists of 30 indicators contained within five broad categories: geomorphology, hydrology, atmosphere, biota, and culture. Data was readily available for most environmental indicators used to construct the index. Overall, levels of disturbance vary between the counties due to the level of urbanization, with the highly populated Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties having higher degrees of disturbance than less developed Pasco and Hernando Counties. While this result may seem obvious, the measure of disturbance using many indicators provides benchmarks of levels of disturbance that can be reassessed with time and highlights those aspects of the environment most in need of attention. Several minor issues arose during the testing: the need for broader indicator descriptions that encompass a variety of scenarios, a new water quality indicator, obsolete sinkhole data, and a lack of data for biota indicators. The lack of data for certain indicators suggests where future research efforts can be directed.
Thesis (M.S.)--University of South Florida, 2007.
Includes bibliographical references.
Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format.
System requirements: World Wide Web browser and PDF reader.
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Title from PDF of title page.
Document formatted into pages; contains 157 pages.
Advisor: Philip van Beynen, Ph.D.
Tampa Bay metropolitan area.
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.
Application and Refinement of the Karst Di sturbance Index in West Central, Florida by Leslie A. North A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science Department of Geography College of Arts and Sciences University of South Florida Major Professor: Philip van Beynen, Ph.D. Robert Brinkmann, Ph.D. Philip Reeder, Ph.D. Date of Approval: April 26, 2007 Keywords: environmental indicators, hu man impact, tampa bay metropolitan area, anthropogenic change, pollution, sinkholes, caves Copyright 2007, Leslie A. North
Dedication This thesis could not have been complete d without the loving a nd unwavering support of my friends and family. I would first like to de dicate this work to Jason Polk for lovingly supporting me without waver through th e good times and the bad, the crying and laughter. You always listened patiently and provided words of encouragement regardless of how busy you were. Thanks Jas, I love you. I would also like to thank my loving parents, Ernest North and Patti Dorris, for supporting every imaginable facet of my education from preschool to a MasterÂ’s Finally, I would like to acknowledge Â“Maverick,Â” starring Mel Gibson, without whic h I would not have been able to spend countless hours in front of the co mputer working on this document.
Acknowledgements I would first like to thank the Department of Geography and Environmental Science and Policy at the University of South Florida for the opportunity to attend graduate school and earn a MasterÂ’s degree. I would like to also thank my major advisor Dr. Philip van Beynen for believing in my ability to analyze and refine the karst disturbance index and continually supplying guidance, support, and encouragement through this entire process. Special acknowledgement must be given to Dr. Robert Brinkmann and Dr. Philip Reeder, the remainder of my thesis committee, for continually supporting me, providing me with their knowledge of karst environments, and enha ncing my thesis and writing techniques. I would like to thank Kaya Townsend for extending to me her knowledge of the IRB process and qualitative semi-structured, faceto-face interviews. I would also like to thank Robert DeGaff and remainder of the S outhwest Florida Water Management District staff, for their opinions and suggestions, nece ssary for improving the applicability of the index, and continually supplying me with abund ant data. Special thanks goes to George Kish and the remainder of United States Geological Survey for supplying topographic maps, GIS files, and other miscellaneous reports. I would also like to thank Nilda Feliciano and Kelly Wilson, former University of South Florida students, for use of their data regarding Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties. I conclude by thanking every interview participant for their in-depth anal ysis of the usefulness of the KDI, Laurie Roughton of the Florida Environmental Prot ection Agency for regulatory enforcement data, and the staff of Hillsborough, Pasco, Pi nellas, and especially Hernando Counties Government Offices for promptly supplying me with data on a regular basis.
i Table of Contents List of Tables................................................................................................................. ....iv List of Figures................................................................................................................ ......v Abstract....................................................................................................................... ......vii Chapter One Â– Introduction.................................................................................................1 Research Strategy.....................................................................................................3 Problem Statement.......................................................................................3 Research Purpose.........................................................................................4 Research Questions......................................................................................4 Research Objectives.....................................................................................5 Karst Environments.................................................................................................5 Evolution of Karst Terrains.........................................................................7 Evaluation of Karst Disturbances............................................................................9 Chapter Two Â– Study Area................................................................................................16 Florida Geography and Climate.............................................................................16 Florida Geology and Geomorphology...................................................................19 Florida Karst..........................................................................................................26 West-Central Florida..............................................................................................30 Tampa Bay Metropolitan Area..............................................................................34 Pinellas County..........................................................................................34 Hillsborough County..................................................................................36 Pasco County.............................................................................................37 Hernando County ......................................................................................38 Chapter Three Â– Methodology...........................................................................................40 Summary of Methodology.....................................................................................40 Assessment of Indicators.......................................................................................42 Geomorphology Â– Surface Landforms.......................................................46 Geomorphology Â– Soils.............................................................................46 Geomorphology Â– Subsurface Karst and Atmosphere Â– Air Quality........47 Hydrology Â– Water Quality.......................................................................47 Hydrology Â– Water Quantity.....................................................................48
ii Biota Â– Vegetation Distur bance and Subsurface Species..........................48 Cultural Â– Stewardship of Karst.................................................................49 Cultural Â– Building Infrastructure..............................................................49 Participant Interviews............................................................................................51 Sample Interview Question Set..................................................................52 Disturbance Scoring System..................................................................................52 Level of Confidence...............................................................................................53 Chapter Four Â– Results.......................................................................................................54 Assessment of Indicators.......................................................................................63 Geomorphology Â– Surface Landforms.......................................................63 Quarrying/Mining..........................................................................63 Flooding of Surface Karst..............................................................65 Stormwater Flow into Sinkholes....................................................69 Infilling of Sinkholes.....................................................................69 Dumping of Refuse into Sinkholes................................................71 Geomorphology Â– Soils.............................................................................72 Soil Erosion....................................................................................72 Soil Compaction.............................................................................74 Geomorphology Â– Subsurface Karst..........................................................77 Flooding.........................................................................................78 Decoration Removal/Vandalism....................................................78 Mineral Sediment Removal...........................................................79 Floor Sediment Compaction of Destruction..................................79 Atmosphere Â– Air Quality..........................................................................79 Desiccation.....................................................................................80 Human-induced Condensation Corrosion......................................80 Hydrology Â– Water Quality from Surface Practices..................................81 Pesticides and Herbicides..............................................................81 Industrial and Petroleum Spills or Dumping.................................84 Hydrology Â– Spring Water Quality............................................................86 Harmful Chemical Constituents in Springs...................................87 Hydrology Â– Water Quantity.....................................................................89 Changes in Water Table.................................................................89 Changes in Cave Drip Waters........................................................91 Biota Â– Vegetation Disturbance.................................................................92 Vegetation Removal.......................................................................92 Biota Â– Subsurface Cave Biota..................................................................95 Biota Â– Subsurface Groundwater Biota.....................................................96 Cultural Â– Human Artifacts........................................................................96 Destruction or Removal of Historic Artifacts................................96 Cultural Â– Stewardship of Karst Region....................................................98 Regulatory Protections...................................................................99 Enforcement of Regulations........................................................103
iii Public Education..........................................................................107 Cultural Â– Building Infrastructure............................................................110 Building of Roads........................................................................110 Construction within Caves...........................................................114 Building over Karst Features.......................................................114 Degrees of Disturbance and Levels of Confidence..............................................117 Degree of Disturbance: Pinellas County, Florida....................................118 Degree of Disturbance: Hillsborough County, Florida............................118 Degree of Disturbance: Pasco County, Florida........................................119 Degree of Disturbance: Hernando County, Florida.................................119 Participant Interviews..........................................................................................120 Chapter Five Â– Discussion...............................................................................................124 Human Disturbance of Karst in the TBMA.........................................................124 Utility of KDI and Recommendations for its Refinement...................................128 Participant Interviews..........................................................................................134 Future Application of the KDI.............................................................................138 Chapter Six Â– Conclusions...............................................................................................139 References Cited..............................................................................................................1 42
iv List of Tables Table 1 Tertiary System Geologic Formations in Florida......................................25 Table 2 Population Growth in the TBMA, 1960-2000...........................................39 Table 3 Karst Disturba nce Index Indicators...........................................................43 Table 4 Data Sources Used to Score Disturbance Indicators in the TBMA...........50 Table 5 Disturbance Classifications........................................................................53 Table 6 Summary of TBMA Results and Justifications.........................................55 Table 7 TBMA Indicator Scores...........................................................................117 Table 8 Table Summarizing Problems Associated with the KDI.........................140 Table 9 Table Summarizing Reco mmendations for Refining the KDI................140
v List of Figures Figure 1 Map of TBMA.............................................................................................3 Figure 2 Karst Features Evaluated by the Karst Disturbance Index........................10 Figure 3 Topogr aphic Divisions of Florida..............................................................19 Figure 4 Geologic Units in Florida..........................................................................22 Figure 5 FloridaÂ’s Aquifer Systems.........................................................................29 Figure 6 Counties Comprising West-Cen tral Florida..............................................31 Figure 7 Methodology Flow Chart...........................................................................41 Figure 8 Mining Oper ations in Hernando County, Florida......................................65 Figure 9 Pasco County, Florida Cropland in 2002...................................................66 Figure 10 Irrigated and Non-irrigated Cropland Hernando County, Florida.............66 Figure 11 Pinellas Count y, Florida Cropland in 2002................................................67 Figure 12 Hillsborough County, Florida Cropland in 2002.......................................68 Figure 13 Forest and Urban Areas in Hillsborough County, Florida.........................73 Figure 14 Urban Development in Pinellas County, Florida.......................................75 Figure 15 Urbanized Regi ons in Pasco County, Florida in 2000...............................76 Figure 16 Urbanized Land in Hernando County, Florida..........................................77 Figure 17 Forest Cover in Pinellas County, Florida...................................................93 Figure 18 Forested Land in Pasco County, Florida...................................................94 Figure 19 Forested Land in Hernando County, Florida.............................................95 Figure 20 Consent Orders Issued in Pinellas County, FL (1986-2005)...................104
vi Figure 21 Consent Orders Issued in Hillsborough County, FL (1986-2005)...........105 Figure 22 Consent Orders Issued in Pasco County, FL (1986-2005)......................106 Figure 23 Consent Orders Issued in Hernando County, FL (1986-2005)................106 Figure 24 Major Roads and Highway s in Pinellas County, Florida.........................111 Figure 25 Major Roads in Hillsborough County, Florida........................................112 Figure 26 Major Roads and Highways in Pasco County, Florida............................113 Figure 27 Major Roads and Highway s in Hernando County, Florida......................113 Figure 28 Existing Land Use in Hernando County, Florida.....................................116
vii Application and Refinement of the Karst Di sturbance Index in West-central, Florida Leslie A. North ABSTRACT A hierarchical and standardized envi ronmental disturbance index, specifically designed for karst landscapes, was creat ed by van Beynen and Townsend (2005). To assess the applicability of th e index and provide recommenda tions for its refinement, the index was applied in four west-central Fl orida counties and inte rviews were conducted with local and state officials, community pl anners, and land resource managers. The karst disturbance index consists of 30 indicators contained with in five broad categories: geomorphology, hydrology, atmosphere, biota, a nd culture. Data was readily available for most environmental indicators used to construct the index. Ov erall, levels of disturbance vary between the counties due to the level of urbanization, with the highly populated Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties ha ving higher degrees of disturbance than less developed Pasco and Hernando Counties. While this result may seem obvious, the measure of disturbance using many indicato rs provides benchmarks of levels of disturbance that can be reassessed with time and highlights those aspects of the environment most in need of attention. Severa l minor issues arose during the testing: the need for broader indicator descriptions that encompass a variety of scenarios, a new water quality indicator, obsolete sinkhole data, and a la ck of data for biota indicators. The lack of data for certain indicators suggests where future research efforts can be directed.
1 Chapter One Introduction The study of karst environments is a growing topic in the disciplines of environmental science, geology, and geogr aphy. While prior scie ntific research investigated disturbance of karst environments it largely concentrated on isolated factors impacting the environment, such as the biot ic, geomorphic, or economic value of a cave or sinkhole. However, to effectively assess th reats to karst environments, a more holistic approach is needed, one which accounts for eco nomic, scientific, and cultural factors. Until a recent publication by van Beynen and Townsend (2005), no such method of comparing, measuring, and contrasting karst disturbance existed. In their publication, a standardized and hierarchal environmental disturbance index was proposed, Â“to measure risk and serve as a standard tool for karst scie ntists to measure, compare, and contrast the degree of disturbance in thei r particular regionÂ” and Â“hel p organizations that have investigated protection of a karst region by evaluating the regionÂ’s disturbance level and identifying areas of the karst system that require more protection or more study,Â” (van Beynen and Townsend 2005, p. 101). Through use of their karst disturbance index (KDI), an accurate depiction of the disturbance caused by humans can be evaluated and measures can be taken to address the problem of karst disturbance. Karst environments are significantly unique fragile, and non-renewable resources that have substantial scien tific, cultural, hydrological, re creational, mineralogical,
2 biological, and economic importance. Karst ca n possess deposits of water, minerals, fossil fuels, and also serve as tourist attractions. The diverse na ture of karst often leads to a series of environmental problems, in cluding drought, flooding, and surface collapse (Daoxian and Zaihua 1998). Furthermore, ka rst terrains are increas ingly disturbed by physical, economic, and social processes, including, but not limited to, groundwater pollution, urban development, agricultural practices, quarrying, cav e modification, and deforestation (Gunn et al. 2000). The combination of karst sensitivity w ith high population density and expansion of urban centers in the Tampa Bay Metropolitan Area (TBMA) ( Figure 1 ) creates an area prone to karst degradation and high frequenc ies of karst-related environmental problems (Tihansky and Knochenmus 2002). This area is defined by the United States Census Bureau to include Hernando, Pasco, Pinellas, and Hillsborough Counties (United States Census Bureau, undated) and serves as the study area for this research. To date, in the TBMA groundwater is contaminated by ag ricultural and urban waste (Trommer 1992; Jones and Upchurch 1993; 1996), springs ha ve stopped flowing (Trommer 1992), lakes have dried-up (Stewart 1982), natural surf ace-drainage patterns are altered (Tihansky 1999), freshwater aquifers are saline (Tih ansky 1999), and sinkholes are infilled (Wilson 2004). These occurrences take th eir toll on the areaÂ’s karst terrain, but few studies have examined the amount or rate of disturbance th at is occurring in th e TBMA. Protecting the karst terrain and developing an index to a ssess the problem of karst disturbance is important due to the areaÂ’s ever-growing popul ation and its demands on the environment.
3 Figure 1 Map of TBMA. Includes Hernando, Pasco, Hillsborough, and Pinellas Counties. Research Strategy Problem Statement While prior scientific research focuse d on isolated factors impacting karst environments, such as the biotic, geomorphi c, or economic value of a cave or sinkhole, no method existed to holistically assess threats to karst envi ronments. In other words, no
4 tool for evaluating human-induced disturbanc e analyzed each component of a karst system, including the destruction of karst biot a, aquifers, bedrock, vegetation, and caves. Through the application of the KDI recen tly created by van Beynen and Townsend (2005), an accurate depiction of the anthropogenic disturban ce to karst environments can be holistically evaluated and measures can be taken to address the human-induced impacts on karst. However, the applicability of the index and its ability to aid in karst management were, as of yet, untested. Research Purpose The purpose of this study was to evaluate the applicability of the KDI and make recommendations for its future refinement, by applying it to the TBMA, a study area with a mix of rural and urban land uses, state parks, and quarries. Th e detection of any indicators not addressed by the KDI, and also how indicators change between study areas, was also determined. To evaluate and improve the practical application of the KDI outside of academic communities, interviews we re undertaken of local and state officials, community planners, and land resource mana gers, who may come to utilize the KDI. These individuals from varying background a nd professions each vi ew disturbance to karst environments from a differing pers pective. These differing viewpoints were obtained so recommendations could be made to improve the KDI in order to satisfy the needs of not only the scientific, but also the public and professional communities. Research Questions The research questions invol ved in this study included: 1) What is the level of karst disturbance in the counties comprising the TBMA?
5 2) Does the KDI comprehensively assess the amount of karst disturbance in these areas, and if not, what changes are needed to address areas of concern? 3) How useful is the KDI to resource managers? Research Objectives To address these questions, seve ral objectives were needed: 1) To use the KDI to determine the amount of karst disturbance in the TMBA. 2) To determine if areas of concern exist where the KDI either does not accurately address or completely ignores certain areas of karst disturbance. 3) To address the areas of concern by ma king recommendations to refine the KDIÂ’s indicators and structure to increase its overall effectiveness. 4) To use personal interviews with count y and state officials to determine the usefulness and applicability of the KDI in policy making. Karst Environments Karst, characterized by unique hydrol ogic and morphologic conditions, is considered the surficial expression of soluti on phenomena resultant from the interaction of water and carbonate rock masses (Bah tijarevic 1996). Literally meaning a bleak, waterless place (Sinclair et al. 1985), karst te rrains were originally named for the Kras plateau region of western Slovenia and eastern It aly near the eastern s hore of the Adriatic Sea (Veni et al. 2001; Rosenburg 2006). Modern geology glossaries define karst as an aggregate of characteristic landforms a nd subsurface features resultant from the solutional removal of rock or sediment (Quinlan 1970).
6 The geographic distribution of karst featur es reflects the geographic distribution of carbonate rocks and the diverse nature of karst landforms. Commonly found in humid, temperate environments that have abunda nt circulating water and warm, tropical environments possessing verdant vegetation and copious rainfall (K ochel et al. 1995), these terrains are formed by the dissolution of soluble rock, such as limestone, dolomite, and gypsum (Ford and Williams 1989). High rock solubility and secondary porosity are dominant in karst terrains, forming depressions, caves, sp rings, sinkholes, and enlarged openings that create subsurface drainage systems (van Beynen and Townsend 2005). Karst covers approximately 12 percent of the worldÂ’s land surface, providing habitable conditions for over 25 percent of the worldÂ’s population (Ford and Williams 1989). Moreover, karst aquifers supply over 20 percent of the worldÂ’s population with drinking water in regions including, but not li mited to, the Caribbean Islands, southern China, Southeast Asia, Mediterranean Ba sin, United States, and Europe (Ford and Williams 1989). In the United States alone, 16 percent of the land surface is karst and 40 percent of drinking water supp lies are obtained from karst aquifers (Veni et al. 2001; Karst Waters Institute, undated). In fact, 35 percent of all counties in the United States, 1144 out of 3211, have at least one cave with in their boundaries (Culver et al. 1999). Some of the major karst features of the Un ited States include the Appalachian Mountains, the Black Hills, the Guadalupe Mountains, the Edwards Plateau, and the Florida Lime Sinks (Culver et al. 1999). The most widespr ead karst region of the United States occurs in the Mississippian Age limestones of the In terior Low Plateau in Indiana, Tennessee, and Kentucky.
7 Evolution of Karst Terrains During the late nineteenth and early tw entieth centuries, Y ugoslavian scientist Jovan Cvijic pioneered the first systema tic study of the hydrology and geomorphology of karst (Bahtijarevic 1996). In 1893, Cvijic deve loped a model of karst evolution, which was later expanded by numerous karst scient ists including, but not limited to, White (1970), Sweeting (1973), Lane (1986), Ford a nd Williams (1989), and Scott (2002). From these works, the complex nature and sensitivit y of karst, in addition to the morphographic and morphometric aspects of karst an alysis, are understood (Bahtijarevic 1996). The evolution of any landscape is influen ced by a balance of two key processes: vertical tectonic movements a nd erosion and deposition (Kau fmann 2002). In addition to these two processes, the development of kars t landscapes, specifically, is dependent upon soluble carbonate rocks and slightly acidic water (Lane 1986; Ralston and Oweis 1999; White 1970). This predominant erosive proce ss forming karst terrains is chemical weathering (White 1970). Porosity, the amount of water a rock can hold, and permeability, the ease in which water can flow through a rock, all impact this process (Kochel et al. 1995). Moreover, the structural orientation of the rock, vegetation of the environment, suspended objects within th e waters flowing over karst landscapes, thickness of overburden materials, and the temperature of the water and atmosphere surrounding karst landscapes have a large eff ect on the development and evolution of karst landscapes (White 1970; Bahtijarevic 1996). Karstification is an epig enic process driven by the hydrologic cycle (White 1970). The formation of a karst terrain begins as small, closed openings within rocks having a solubility component greater than 70 per cent (Onac 2000). While karst landscapes may
8 form in evaporites such as gypsum, halite, and anhydrite, the most common rock varieties meeting this requirement are calcium carbonate (CaCO3) rocks such as limestone or dolomite. As water descends through the atmo sphere or through overburden material atop soluble rocks, it becomes slightly acidic as water molecules bind to carbon dioxide molecules (Bahtijarevic 1996; Ford and W illiams 1989). These carbon dioxide molecules are derived from biologically generate d carbon dioxide in decaying humus or atmospheric carbon dioxide absorb ed in precipitation as it approaches the land surface (Bahtijarevic 1996; Ford and Williams 1989; Wh ite 1988). As the slightly acidic water passes over the soluble rocks a CaCO3-CO2-H2O reaction is stimulated, breaking CaCO3 into HCO3and Ca2+ (White 1988). During this dissolution process, the Ca2+ ion, the most important ion comprising carbonate rocks and subsequently the principal ion in the karstification process, is removed from the rock mass leaving behind small bedrock openings that typify ka rst landscapes (Onac 2000). In time, the dissolution of the calcium carbonate slowly enlarges the small openings to create cavities within the roc k. As carbonate dissoluti on continues, larger amounts of water enter the karst system, ev entually producing sizeable interconnected underground flow systems that can change surficial drainage patterns and related landforms. Mechanical erosion by suspended materials in the water can accelerate this process (Bahtijarevic 1996; Ford and W illiams 1989; White 1988). In short, Â“active karstification results in an increase in size and complexity of closed depressions with timeÂ” (Bahtijarevic 1996, p.2).
9 Assessment of Karst Disturbances Karst features are highly susceptible to human influence. Removing tree cover, disposing of wastes improperly, excessive pumping of ground water, opening or closing cave entrances, quarrying, infill ing sinkholes, and modifying su rficial drainage patterns, just to name a few items, each negatively impact karst terrains. As regions grow in population, the building of roads, houses, and office buildings limits the amount of water reaching karst aquifers, and places unnecessa ry stress on groundcover (Zhou et al. 2005). Meanwhile, increasing quantities of water extrac ted from karst aquifers for industrial and municipal purposes, results in an imbalance in the hydrologic cycl e, sinkhole generation (Tihansky 1999; van Beynen and Townsend 2005), and salt water intrus ion (Arfib et al. 2000). Deforestation for the expansion of urban growth can increase flooding, sedimentation rates in caves, and turbidity in water (Harding and Ford 1993; Sauro 1993; Wood et al. 2002; van Beynen and Townsend 2005; Gunn et al. 2000). In 2005, van Beynen and Townsend created a standardized and hierarchal karst disturbance index. Their index pr ovides researchers with a tool to measure risk and to compare and contrast the degree of karst dist urbance in a region. Prior to this publication, no method for holistically comparing, measur ing, and contrasting karst disturbance existed. The elements of karst systems disc ussed in their article include geomorphologic aspects of surface and subsurface karst, soil s, atmospheric conditions within air-filled caves, hydrologic components such as water quality and quantity, biota both above and below the ground surface, and cultural aspects of karst such as the stewardship of a karst region. The KDI provides justification for the need to evaluate each indicator, a method for assessing these indicators, and a rational for scoring each indicator. The essential
10 1) Vegetation 2) Soil 3) Bedrock 4) Cave Atmosphere 5) Cave Biota 6) Cave Sediment 7) Aquifer 1) Vegetation 2) Soil 3) Bedrock 4) Cave Atmosphere 5) Cave Biota 6) Cave Sediment 7) Aquifercomponents of karst terrains which are a ddressed by the KDI are illustrated in Figure 2 Articles which narrowly discuss a single impact to karst environments and highlight the need for a holistic karst disturbance eval uation technique are discussed below. Figure 2 Karst features evaluated by the karst disturbance index. (Modified from Polk 2005). Vegetation above cave systems prevents so il erosion and prom otes karstification by providing CO2 necessary for the creation of carboni c acid. Therefore, vegetation is an important component of karst systems (van Beynen and Townsend 2005). The removal of trees in karst landscapes disputes the natura l evolution of karst (James 1993; Harding and Ford 1993), promotes surface erosion, increa ses flooding within caves, sedimentation rates in caves, and tu rbidity in water (S auro 1993; Wood et al. 2002; van Beynen and Townsend 2005). A study performed by Hardi ng and Ford (1993) on Vancouver Island, Canada, estimated the effects of deforestation, th e susceptibility of karst to those effects, and vegetal regeneration succe ss on karst after deforestation. The results of this study
11 showed that deforestation cause s soil erosion, burning signifi cantly increases soil erosion, and vegetal regeneration is un likely without the presence of a highly developed epikarst. Similar effects of deforestation and agriculture were noted in the Italian Venetian Fore Alps by Sauro (1993) and Gams et al. (1993) in France and Italy, a karst region affected by both prehistoric and modern deforesta tion. Liu et al. (2003) illustrated how deforestation accelerates the decomposition rate of the soil organic matter necessary for the production of carbonic acid and buildup of soil in southwest China. Urich et al. (2001) revealed how protecting karst areas from deforestati on while trying to respect the property rights of landowners and farmers can lead to ineffective karst policies and civil unrest. Jakal (2000) described how deforest ation for farming purposes resulted in the rocky desertification of a lush Slovakian karst plateau. While each of these studies demonstrate how human actions can lead to deforestation, soil er osion, desertification, and accelerated decomposition of soil organic matter, each study only narrowly evaluates how a regionÂ’s natural karst evolution can be disrupted by man. Research focusing specifically on the percent decline of cave biota species richness or population density in the TB MA is nonexistent. Globally, however, Roth (1993) revealed that factors such as cave lights, clothes lint skin flakes, and artificial entrances all negatively impact cave species. Gu nn et al. (2000) documented the decline of cave biota from quarrying, agriculture, waste disposal, groundw ater extraction, and tourism in England, while additional resear ch shows the decline of cave biota from agricultural pollutants in groundwater (Wood et al. 2002) Boulton et al. (2003) demonstrated that Australian groundwater bi ota is negatively impacted by excessive groundwater pumping, while Schilthuizen et al. (2005) revealed a decline in unique
12 limestone-dwelling land snail communities in Sabah Malaysian Borneo, as a result of forest degradation. Bats are the most commonly researched cave species. Richter et al. (1993), Petit (1996), Mann et al. (2002), and Parson et al. (2003), each illustrated that changing ambient conditions within caves, the destruc tion of bat feeding gr ounds, and bats being perceived as pests results in a decline of bat populations. Spanjar and Fenton (2005) and Martin et al. (2006) quantita tively measured the impact of cave gates and cave passage manipulation on bat colonies. Despite each of these studies comprehensively addressing local problems for their respective study ar eas, each still only narrowly focuses on specific aspects of cave biota disturba nce in a localized geographic area. The destruction of karst bedrock by quarrying and mining act ivities was first shown by Aw (1978). This work illustrated the dest ruction of archaeol ogical artifacts and rare flora and fauna habitats in Malays ian Limestone Hills. Gunn and Bailey (1993) discussed the removal of rock from limest one quarries in Great Britain, while Goldie (1993) revealed that the same country rem oved karst pavements for gardens. A unique group of speleothems, groundwater, soil, and surface water in Sorbas, Spain is continually being impacted by gypsum quarries (Pulido-Bosch et al 2004). Dewatering karst aquifers occurs throughout China in an attempt to protect coal miners from water inrushes (Li and Zhou 2006). Dunn and Ga gen (1987) revealed how land surface development and quarrying is often responsible for both the destruction of sinkholes and production of large closed depressions known as quarry rock basins in the English Peak District. Wilson (2004) illustrated the imp act vast urbanization in Pinellas County, Florida has on sinkhole formations showing that more than 92 percent of sinkholes in the
13 county are infilled, while Sinclair et al. ( 1985) demonstrated a similar trend in the remainder of west-central Florida. Few othe r studies have addre ssed sinkhole problems related to the anthropogenic-induced change with even less attempting to quantify sinkhole disturbance. The degradation of the atmosphere above and within caves (Huppert et al. 1993; PulidoBosch et al. 1997; van Beynen a nd Townsend 2005), and also the compaction of cave sediment by foot traffic (Gillieson 1996), has a detrimental affect on karst environments and the biota whose surv ival depends upon preservation of these environments. Donahue (1990), Baker and Genty (1998), Craven (1999), Silverwood (2000), and Jeong et al. (2003) each illustrated the negative impact of cave visitors on speleothems caused by changing drip water chemistry and the atmospheric composition within caves. Villar et al. (1986) discusse d the effects of increased evaporation, condensation corrosion, and desiccation re sultant from cave tourist body heat, CO2 respiration, and artificial li ghting on cave environments, while artificial cave entrances have impacted glowworms in Glowworm Cave in Waitomo, New Zealand (Pugsley 1984). While these works illustrate some of the problems with anthropogenic cave disturbance, they do not pr ovide a holistic approach at evaluating and managing the worldwide distribution of numerous cav es and their associated problems. Groundwater within karst landscapes faces several detrimental human practices. Crawford (1984), White et al. (1984), and Keith et al. (1997) reveal ed that sinkholes are often drainage points for stormwater, whic h thereby pollutes the aquifer. On the Kentucky Sinkhole Plain, Quilan and Ewers ( 1985) discussed the use of sinkholes as small landfills. This activity may pollute groundwater and disrupt natural drainage
14 through sinkholes by clogging of sinkhole botto ms. Urich (1993) observed the negative impact of rice cultivation pr actices and heavy pesticide a nd herbicide use has on karst waters in Bohol, Philippines. Drew (1996) documented how eutrophication resultant from effluent spraying and leaking septic tanks contaminate karst aquifers in Ireland, while Schindler (1978) and Memon et al. (2002) reve aled that algal blooms in surface waters results from excessive phosphorus concentr ations. Volatile organic compounds and nonaqueous phase liquids often pollute karst groundwater despite bei ng deposited, either purposefully or accidentally, on the surf ace (Quilan and Ewers 1985; Loop and White 2001; Xie et al. 2002). Ford and Williams (1989) discussed the contamination of drinking water supplies in Olkusz, Poland after tailings pond collapsed. In west-central Florida alone, natural surface-drainag e patterns are altered (Tih ansky 1999), groundwater is contaminated by agricultural and urban waste (Trommer 1992; Jones and Upchurch 1993; 1996), select springs are no longer flow ing (Trommer 1992), lakes have dried-up (Stewart 1982), and freshwater aquifers ar e saline (Tihansky 1999; Arfib et. al. 2000). While all of the aforementioned studies touched briefly on the multitude of different karst disturbance issues found th roughout the world, none holistically address karst issues. This is important because many karst areas suffer from disturbance to multiple karst features, requiring an assessment of disturbance using an approach that can evaluate each of the diverse features f ound in a well-developed karst landscape. As illustrated in many of the above studies, the fr agmented approach of analyzing only select disturbances complicates the proper manage ment of an interconnected karst system. Failure of the current literature to consiste ntly acknowledge the wide spread existence of karst landscapes and the commonality of problem s associated with them creates a gap in
15 policymaking and management due to a lack of cohesiveness in strategies for both recognizing and addressi ng disturbance issues.
16 Chapter Two Study Area This study was conducted in west-centr al FloridaÂ’s TBMA, which includes Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas co unties (United States Census Bureau, undated) (Figure 1) The TBMA is a karstified landscape and is conducive for researching the applicability of the KDI fo r several reasons. First, the TBMA is comprised of four distinct counties of differi ng levels of urbanization within culturally defined geographic boundaries. Secondly, the TB MA provides a divers e mix of features, such as state parks and mining areas, there by providing a more extensive testing of the KDIÂ’s indicators in a karst landscape. Lastl y, the continuing growth and urbanization in the TBMA warrants an examination of both th e level of karst disturbance and a method for assessing this problem to provide a foundation for future policy making and community development. The following sectio n describes FloridaÂ’s geology and karst, the karst of west-central Florida, and the features of each county comprising the TBMA. Florida Geography and Climate Florida is 719 kilometers long and 580 kilometers wide at its most distant points for a total area of approximately 170,270 square kilometers. More than 17,702 kilometers of rivers, streams, and waterways in Florid a ranks it third in the country for land area covered by water. The St. Johns River is the longest river in Florida while Lake Okeechobee is the largest lake at 1,813 square kilometers. Th ere are 1,717 kilometers of
17 beaches in the state. The highest natural po int in Florida is Britt on Hill in Walton County, with an elevation of 105 mete rs (Netstate 2006). The geogr aphic center of Florida is located twelve miles northwest of Brooks ville in Hernando County. Despite being FloridaÂ’s second smallest county, Pinellas C ounty is the most densely populated county in the state, containing more than 1,250 pe ople per square kilome ter (Pinellas County Government, undated (a)). The climate of Florida is characteri zed by long, warm, humid summers and cool, mild, dry winters. In westcentral Florida, average ra infall ranges from 102-153 centimeters per year. Approximately 60 percent falls during the months of June through September, while the driest months are November through February (Stankey 1982). Tropical storms can affect the area any time between early June and mid-November. The heavy rain associated with these storms causes increased dissolution of the areaÂ’s limestone (Hyde et al. 1977). Extended peri ods of dry weather are most common in the spring, decreasing plant growth and karstificat ion. Summer temperatures vary little from day to day and average 34 C. Winter temperat ures vary greatly acro ss the state, ranging from 21 C in Key West to 10 C in Tallaha ssee. Freezing temperatures occur an average of five to ten days a year as far south as Tampa (Vanatta et al. 1972). Relative humidity in the state is high, with a mid-afternoon aver age of 50-65 percent and a dawn average of 85-95 percent (Hyde et al. 1977). The vegetation of west-central Florida c onsists largely of pine and saw palmetto flatlands, with patchy areas of salt-tolerant grassy marsh alon g the coastal portions of the state. Stands of turkey oaks occur on the areaÂ’s sandy hills. Low hammock land with
18 heavy shrub growth is found near the regionÂ’s la kes. These regions are distinctly different from the hardwood hammocks located in the eastern Flor ida (Abbott 1979). Florida has five natural topographic divisions: the Cent ral Highlands, the Tallahassee Hills, the Marianna Lowlands, the Western Highlands, and the Gulf Coastal Lowlands ( Figure 3 ). The Central Highlands follow th e crest of the Floridian Plateau. The division is highly diversif ied consisting of extensive plai ns, the highest hills in the state, large lakes with broad, low prairies surrounding them, and sandy soils derived from Pleistocene marine terraces. This area exte nds from the Georgia state line southward to Glades County, Florida. The Tallahassee Hills are a 40-kilometer-wide strip of plains surrounded by rolling hills along the Georgia stat e line. This division is underlain by the red sand of the Citronelle formation. Th e Marianna Lowlands lies between the Tallahassee Hills and the Western Highlands in the Florida panhandle and is completely underlain by Ocala limestone. This limestone crops out in many areas resulting in several springs, which contribute to the Chipola River. This area is largely occupied by the Flint River formation. The Western Highlands, loca ted in the western-most portion of the panhandle, consists of a southward sloping pl ateau underlain by the Citronelle formation and high-level Pleistocene terrace deposits. This region also contains several large streams flowing through float-bottomed valleys and patches of rolling hills. Although the Gulf Coastal Lowlands border the entire coast of Florida, they are widest in southern Florida. This division largely contains leve l plains covered by light-gray sand, except in the southern portions of Florida where surfic ial deposits of Pliocene sandy limestone are prevalent. Past sea level stands left succe ssive shorelines at 31, 21, 13, and 8 meters above the present sea level in the region (Cooke 1939; Cooke 1945).
19 Figure 3. Topographic divisions of Florida. (Taken from Cooke 1945, p. 9). Florida Geology and Geomorphology During the Late Precambrian, approxim ately 700 million years ago, the Florida platform was a part of the West African c ontinental margin near Senegal. During the Triassic period, tectonic forces rifted the platform from the margin (Wilson 2004). Over the next 200 million years, the Florida plat form wandered to its present-day location.
20 This theory is supported by geochemical a nd geochronologic data correlating Florida basement rocks to the basement rocks of West Africa (Lane 1994; Randazzo and Jones 1997; Wilson 2004). Several thousand feet of rocks of Pre cambrian, Paleozoic, and Mesozoic age comprise the basement rocks of Florida. Ba salts, which formed during the Late Triassic and Early Jurassic periods, are the primary basement rocks of south Florida, while central FloridaÂ’s basement rocks are 550 million-year-o ld granites. Middle Paleozoic sandstones, siltstones, and shales underlie nor thern peninsular Florida (Lane 1994). FloridaÂ’s state boundaries are considered to be the raised portion of a much larger carbonate rock platform capped by a mantling sequence of relatively insoluble sand and clay deposits (Scott 1988; Scott 1997; Tihansky and Knochenmus 2002). As shallowwater dwelling marine organisms die, they ma y be preserved as a calcium carbonate rock mass. Consequently, extremely gradual subsiden ce of proto-FloridaÂ’s basaltic lava crust during the Cretaceous Period, approximately 144 to 65 million years ago, resulted in the early deposition of the stateÂ’s carbonate platform This platform is primarily composed of dolomite with varying amounts of interbedded evaporates in the northern two-thirds of peninsula Florida and limestone in southern peninsular Florida and the easternmost portions of the panhandle (Scott 1992). The platform extends 160 kilometers west of Tampa on the western edge and 4 to 6 kilomete rs southeast of Miam i on the eastern edge (Lane 1994). During the Neogene Period, the Florida peninsula surfaced from the submarine environment (Smith and Lord 1997). Florida has existed for millions of years as an alternately dry and submerged land mass (Cooke 1939). The dominant factors sh aping the Florida peninsula and its
21 underlying platform are marine and coastal processes (Scott 1988). Fl uctuations in sealevel and groundwater movement during the Cenozoic Era roughly 65 million years ago continuously altered the peni nsula thereby creating the pr esent-day configuration of Florida through sediment deposition and er osion (Cooke 1939; Scott 1997). Sea-level was significantly higher and lower than th e present level during this time period; geologists believe that the Ce nozoic sea-level in Florida fl uctuated from several hundred feet above to several hundred feet below th e present sea-level stands (Lane 1994). As a result, Florida was nearly entirely covere d by carbonate sediments by the beginning of the Miocene Epoch even though deposition continued intermittently through the Pleistocene Epoch (Lane 1994; Miller 1997; Scott 1997). These Cenozoic sediments are represented by the Paleogene and Neogene-Q uaternary sediment groups; the Paleogene sediment group is dominated by carbonate sediments, while the Neogene-Quaternary group is dominated by quartz sand, silt, and clay (Lane 1994). The oldest sediments exposed in the state are on the Ocala Plat form in west-central Florida (Lane 1994). Figure 4 illustrates the age and locati on of the stateÂ’s geologic units.
22 Figure 4. Geologic Units in Florida. Siliciclastic deposition dominated in th e Middle Miocene Epoch and continued until the Late Miocene Epoch not only from fluc tuations in sea-level, but also from the Appalachian Mountains (Lane 1994; Rand azzo and Jones 1997). During the midCenozoic erosion of southern portions of th e mountain chain greatly increased as the chain was uplifted. The eroded siliciclastic sediments filled in the Gulf Trough and eventually covered the Flor ida carbonate platform, pr oducing an area overlain by siliciclastic sediments of va rious thicknesses and permeabili ties (Lane 1994) and a spine
23 of clayey sands on the peninsula (Wilson 2004). The siliciclastic sedi ments appear in the early Miocene in northern Florida and the mi d-Miocene in southern Florida; however, rivers and longshore currents continued to tr ansport sediment from the coastal plain surrounding the mountain chain into Florida through the Pleistocene Epoch (Lane 1994). Due to this siliciclastic cover, the Florid a platform only has a handful of bare karst exposures, these limited to coastal zones and areas of cover pe rforation. Moreover, FloridaÂ’s relief Â“has the gene ral characteristics of covered ka rst with closed depressions developed partially or entir ely in siliciclastic cove rÂ” (Bahtijarevic 1996, p. 2). Glaciation during the Pleistocene Epoch of the Quaternary Period approximately 1.8 million to 10,000 years ago dramatically in creased the stateÂ’s land area, while low sea-level stands resulted in a fresh-wate r table lower than pr esent day (Cooke 1939; Cooke 1945; Lane 1994). Surface water features such as springs and lakes were less copious while only hardwood trees and dry-tolerant grasses flourished giving Florida the appearance of an African savanna during th is time. During Pleistocene interglacial periods, when Florida consisted of islands, most of the stateÂ’s modern topographic features were developed under the shallow seas After surficial sediments were deposited, waves and currents eroded the previous epoc hsÂ’ formations, redist ributing the eroded sediments over the underlying limestones. As the seas retreated once again, shore waves and near-shore currents eroded relict scarps and created sand ri dges including, but not limited to the Cody Scarp, Brooksville Ridge, and Lake Wales Ridge (Lane 1994). The development of FloridaÂ’s Pleisto cene landforms was influenced by karst processes in the Eocene, Oli gocene, and Miocene Epochs. Prior to the Pleistocene, groundwater flowed through FloridaÂ’s limes tones dissolving conduits and caverns.
24 Karst activity in the Pleistocene Epoch resulted in the collapse of these caverns and the formation of sinkholes; these sinkholes remain today as lakes. Moreover, karst processes lowered the stateÂ’s limestone bedrock, formi ng dissolution valleys, such as the Western and Central Valleys of the central peninsula (Lane 1994). Table 1 summarizes FloridaÂ’s Tertiary geologi c formations, the most significant formations in the evolution of the stateÂ’s pr esent-day karst. The Avon Park limestone, of Eocene age, is the oldest formation exposed at the surface; it crops out in west-central FloridaÂ’s Citrus County. The Plio cene deposits, which lie close to the surface in nearly all parts of Florida, are divided into seven c ontemporaneous formations. Six are marine or partly estuarine (Cooke 1939; Cooke 1945).
25 Table 1. Tertiary System Geologic Formations in Florida. (Taken from Cooke 1945, p. 18).
26 Florida Karst Limestone and dolomite almost entirely unde rlie Florida. The stateÂ’s depositional history and infilling processes resulted in a region composed of varying thicknesses of sand and clay deposits. FloridaÂ’s warm climat e, plentiful precipitation, low relief, and multiple Pleistocene sea-level changes of 100 meters or more allows for widespread limestone dissolution. Recrystallization, replacement, extensive dissolution, and cementation of the platformÂ’s carbonate-evaporite sequences, produced a karstdominated topography containing extensive dolines, springs, disappearing streams, caves, and internal drainage networks (Lan e 1986; Randazzo and Jones 1997; Wilson 2004). Most of the stateÂ’s karst-dominated regions correlate with areas of unconfined and semiconfined conditions of the Floridan Aquifer. Karst landforms are commonly well developed and pronounced in these regions. Ge ographically, this area covers most of central Florida and portions of north -central Florida (Bahtijarevic 1996). Sinkholes are the most common and easily r ecognized karst landform in Florida, with west-central Florida ha ving the highest frequency of these features. Chemical weathering is the primary cause of this land subsidence, with dissolution preferentially occurring near recharge areas and saltwater/ freshwater coastal mixing zones. Of these two areas, recharge zones ar e most influential for sinkhole development (Upchurch and Randazzo 1997). However, because of increased groundwater use and urban development in Florida, sinkholes occur more frequently in these areas. The most common sinkhole varieties in Florida are collapse and solu tion sinkholes, although multiple stages of karstification in the state have resulted in many sinkhole types with varying ages and degrees of development (Tihansky 1999). Many a lluvial sinkholes, the oldest of FloridaÂ’s
27 sinkholes, are partially filled with marine and wetland sediments (Wilson 2004). Modern sinkholes operate as direct pathways of groundwater contamination; for this reason, sinkholes are often viewed as cheap and convenient disposal sites. The limestone of Florida is honeycombed with caverns. However, the water table is generally so high that mo st cave passages are submerged. The Florida Caverns State Park north of Marianna is an exception, wh ich includes twelve connected rooms highly decorated with small stalactites. Significantl y smaller and less d ecorated dry caves are found in northern west-central FloridaÂ’s W ithlacoochee State Pa rk (Cooke 1939). These caves are formed by chemical and structur al processes (Brinkma nn and Reeder 1994). Karstification plays a signif icant role in the hydrogeol ogy of Florida. The stateÂ’s karst drainage is characterized by sinkholes springs, caves, disappearing streams, and underground drainage channels (Wilson 2004). Soils and rocks with high permeabilities exist at or near the land surface across most of the state. Fractures, fissures, and bedding planes in FloridaÂ’s carbonates are potent ial zones of weakness, which concentrate groundwater flow creating sinkholes and spri ngs as dissolution of the rock mass intensifies (Scott 1992; Lane 1994; Wilson 200 4). Approximately 95 percent of central and western FloridaÂ’s lakes ar e solution-based lakes occupying the basins formed by this dissolution and subsequent lowering of the land surface as overburden materials settled into the underlying limestone cavities (Wilson 2004). These lakes generally have the physical characteristics of sinkholes includi ng steep sloping sides, no surface stream input, and circular outlines (Lane 1986). Aquife r water levels, which change in response to precipitation, control the wa ter level of these lakes and many of the stateÂ’s streams (Lane 1994; Wilson 2004).
28 Five principal aquifer systems are present in Florida: the Floridan aquifer system, the Intermediate aquifer system, the Surficia l aquifer system, Biscayne aquifer system, and the Sand and Gravel aquifer (Florida Department of Envi ronmental Protection, 2006a). Figure 5 illustrates the locations of these syst ems. The Surficial aquifer system is a predominantly sand aquifer composed prim arily of Pliocene-Holo cene unconsolidated siliciclastics. This system encompasses any undefined aquifer a ppearing at the land surface (Tihansky and Knochenmus 2002; Wilson 2004). The shallow Sand-and-Gravel Aquifer and Biscayne Aquifer supply drinking water in the west and south, respectively. The Intermediate aquifer system of sout hwest Florida consis ts of interbedded siliciclastics and carbonates. This system is completely buried by shallower aquifers or confining units. Miocene sediments form the confining unit of the aquifer system, which separates the Surficial and Floridan aquifers when siliciclastic units of the Hawthorn Group are present (Tihansky and Knochenmus 2002). The Floridan aquifer system, the most productive system in the region, occurs throughout the subsurfa ce of Florida. This system is divided into the Upper and Lower Floridan aquifers, which are separated by a confining unit, and includes portions of the Cedar Keys Formation, Oldsmar and Avon Park formations, Ocala Limestone, and Suwannee Limestone (Miller 1986; Bahtijarevic 1996; Scott 1997). Groundwater recharge occurs at varying rates over approximately 55 percent of Florida as precipitation infiltrates the sediment lying atop of these aquifers (Scott 1992; Wilson 2004).
29 Figure 5 FloridaÂ’s Aquifer Systems. (Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) website, taken on 10/20/06). Karst features evolve in response to ch anging hydrologic conditions over geologic time. Moreover, the geology and geomorphology of Florida controls the distribution of the stateÂ’s springs (Scott et al. 2002). Alt hough many of FloridaÂ’s co astal springs formed in areas unsuitable for present-day forma tion (Tihansky and Knochenmus 2002), karst springs generally occur where soluble rock and low surface elevations are present to allow for the flow of groundwater at the su rface. The springs of Florida fall into two categories, seepage springs, forming where th e ground stands lower than the water table, and the more common artesian springs, in which flow comes from a distant source through underground channels that lie at a lower level th an the outlet (Cooke 1939).
30 Florida had over 700 known springs, 33 of whic h were first-magnitude springs with a flow of more than 100 cubic feet per sec ond, as of 2004. Each major spring in Florida discharges from the Floridan Aquifer (Scott et al. 2002). West-Central Florida Karst West-central Florida is co mprised of Citrus, Sumter, Hernando, Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Sarasota, and Manatee Counties ( Figure 6 ) (US Geological Survey, 2004). The karst terrains of the regi on are typified by closed depres sions overlain on relict late Pliocene and Pleistocene marine terraces (Bah tijarevic 1996).The development of karst in west-central Florida is controlled by lith ology, the movement of groundwater, degree of dissolution of carbonate bedrock by chemica lly aggressive water, thickness and composition of overburden material, and sea-le vel. The area, which lies within the Gulf Coastal Lowlands physiographic unit ( Figure 3 ), is largely characterized by discontinuous ridges separated by broad valleys. This physiographic unit, which is at the 100-foot contour line, extends inland at variab le distances within we st-central Florida and consists of plains representing four mari ne terraces: Wicomico terrace, Penholoway terrace, Talbot terrace, and Pam lico terrace. These terraces remain in nearly their original condition over large portions of the region, but are modified by underground solution and surface erosion is select areas. Within the Gulf Coastal Lowlands are well drained relict sand dunes and hectares of wet pa stureland, resulting in an ar ea covered by pine forests and an undergrowth of saw palmettos. These ar eas are interspersed with cypress swamps in the low, poorly drained sa nds of the region (Cooke 1939).
31 Figure 6 Counties Comprising West-Central Florida. The carbonate sequence of west-central Fl orida is comprised of the Oldsmar and Cedar Keys Limestones, the Avon Park Fo rmation, the Ocala Group, Tampa Limestone, and the Suwannee Limestone (Trommer 1987). Th e Cedar Keys formation is a 550 feet thick hard cream-colored limestone deposited in the open ocean. Oldsmar limestone of Wilcox age is predominantly limestone, but contains some gypsum and chert; it has a thickness ranging from 137-366 meters and was deposited in the open ocean, far away from land. The Avon Park formation is a cream-colored chalky limestone with a thickness ranging from 15-91 meters that wa s deposited onto a completely submerged
32 Floridan Plateau receiving little sand and clay (Stewart 1968). The Ocala limestone is a pure white to cream colored Jackson age limes tone with an approximate thickness of 122 meters. The texture of this limestone is co mmonly granular, but parts are converted into hard, compact rock by the deposition of traver tine or calcite. As little as four-tenths of one percent of impurities is found in this lime stone facilitating the solution of the rock. The Miocene-aged Tampa Limestone is a ha rd and dense, sandy white to light-tan fossiliferous limestone (Stewart 1968). This li mestone is approximately 80 feet below the land surface in Pinellas County and contains numerous large solution channels with large storage capacities (Heath and Smith 1954). The Late Oligocene-aged Suwannee Limestone immediately underlies the Tampa Li mestone. It is a 15-30 meter thick, yellowcolored, hard and resonant limestone containi ng approximately ten percent silica impurity (Cooke 1945; Bahtijarevic 1996). Hernando County contains the second largest outcropping of this limestone. The Tampa and Suwannee Limestones are the largest contributors of water in Pinellas, Pasco, and Hills borough Counties (Stewart 1968). The Miocene Hawthorn Group, character ized by low relief, sandy clay interspersed with cal careous rock, overlies the area Â’s carbonate sequence (Cooke 1945). This group contains beds of discontinuous, low permeability sand, making it a poor producer of water. An unconsolidated and undifferentiated unit of quartz sand, clay, phosphate, peat, and shell deposits of Pleist ocene age lies above the Hawthorn Group in thicknesses ranging from 9-60 meters (H eath and Smith 1954). This unit retards groundwater flow into and from the underl ying limestone (Heath and Smith 1954) and established distinct geomorphic regions w ith varying karst feat ures throughout westcentral Florida (Tihansky and Knochenmus 2002).
33 Karst features in west-central Florida in clude sinkholes, springs, caves, subsurface drainage networks, and heterogeneous aquife rs. FloridaÂ’s underlying rocks are confined by varying amounts of clay positioned at the base of undifferentiated surficial deposits. However, in west-central Florida, sinkholes breach these clay deposits revealing the underlying carbonate rocks (Trommer, 1987). Accordingly, in comparison to the remainder of the state, this region has the highest frequenc y of sinkhole activity. Moreover, the majority of karst features in west-central Florida are limited to the upper 91.44 meters of the land surface (Tihans ky and Knochenmus 2002). As such, this regionÂ’s karst is generally classified into four zones based on th e prevalence of three sinkhole types: dissolution sinkholes caused by chemical erosion of the carbonate bedrock, cover-subsidence sinkholes formed as overburden material infill subsurface cavities, and abruptly formed cover-colla pse sinkholes (Sincl air et al. 1985). In the northern portions of west-central Florida, dissolution sinkholes result from the rapid movement of precipitation into the subsurface and dissolution of a carbonate mass overlain by highly permeable sediments 09 meters thick. The central portions of the region have thicker and less permeable cl ayey overburden material approximately 961 meters thick, resulting in the formati on of cover-subsidence and cover-collapse sinkholes (Sinclair et al. 1985). Overburden material is typica lly greater than 61 meters thick and consists of cohesive sediments interlayered with ca rbonate rock in the southernmost sections of west-central Florida so si nkhole formation is uncommon. More than one aquifer system, correlati ng with undifferentiated clay and sand deposits, occurs in west-central Florida. The Upper Floridan aquifer ranges from 183-427 meters and is found in the regionÂ’s Ocala and Suwannee Limestone. The bottom of this
34 aquifer system forms where ve rtically and horizontally persistent evaporites, such as gypsum and anhydrite, are present within th e lower Avon Park Formation (Wolansky and Garbade 1981; Ryder 1985). These evaporites underlie the Upper Floridan aquifer throughout west-central Florid a, forming the middle confining unit of the system. The intermediate aquifer system coincides w ith the Hawthorn Group and is 0-213 meters thick within west-central Fl orida. The group is eroded away in the northern portions of west-central Florida so the Intermediate aquifer system is not extensive (Scott 1988; Tihansky and Knochenmus 2002). The largest springs in west-central Flor ida are artesian. The water flowing from these springs rises th rough deep, vertical limestone c onduits. Underground rivers flow through nearly horizontal caverns at the botto m of these conduits. The greatest majority of these springs flow through the Ocala lime stone formation, although some penetrate the Suwannee limestone (Cooke 1939). Springs deriving from the Tampa Limestone and Hawthorn formation generally yi eld sulphur water. Notable we st-central Florida springs with this characteristic include Sulphur Sp ring in Hillsborough County, Lithia Spring in Hernando County, and Kissengen Spri ng in Polk County (Cooke 1939). Tampa Bay Metropolitan Area Pinellas County Pinellas County is one of the least known and most developed karst regions of the world. The county has 684 square kilometers of land surface. It is bound by Hillsborough County on the east, Pasco County to the north, Tampa Bay on the west, and the Gulf of Mexico to the south. Despite being the sec ond smallest county in Florida, Pinellas
35 County is the most densely populated county in the state, with a population density of more than 1,271 people per square kilome ter. In 2004, a total of 928,537 people were permanent residents, while an additional 40,921 people were seasonal residents (Pinellas County Government, undated (a)). Pinellas C ounty has an annual population growth rate of two percent, which may be explained by an already existing hi gh urban density and land base that is fairly bu ilt-out. In 1992, only 1,300 hectares of the county were cropland (Institute of Food and Agri cultural Services 2000a). The county is comprised of a mainland peninsula with various barrier islands (White 1970). Apart of the Gulf Coastal Lo wlands physiographic unit, Pinellas County consists of low-angle scarps and terraces which formed during the Pleistocene. Two major geologic formations are present in the county, the Hawthorn Formation of the lower Miocene and the Caloosahatchee Marl of the lower Pliocene (Vanatta et. al 1972). A Â“white to light yellow, soft, moderately sandy and clayey, finely granular, and locally fossilferous, with high porosityÂ” Tampa Limestone is the uppermost consolidated rock in the county (Wilson 2004, p.15). Overburden materi al roughly 9-60 meters thick overlies the limestone, influencing groundwater flow a nd establishing distinct geomorphic regions with varying karst features throughout th e county (Tihansky and Knochenmus 2002). Â“Surficial evidence of the karst landscape in Pinellas C ounty is limited to sinkholes, sinkhole associated features, and springs,Â” which are increasingly disturbed by the countyÂ’s excessive urbanization (Wilson 2004, p.15). The climate of the county is character ized by long, humid summers and mild winters. Annual rainfall is 140 centimeters; 60 percent falls from June to September.
36 Freezing temperatures occur approximately ten days a year. The CountyÂ’s average summer temperature is 28 C; winter temperat ures average 16 C (V anatta et. al 1972). Hillsborough County Hillsborough County is bound by Pinellas County on the west, Polk County on the east, Manatee County to the south, and Pasco County to the north. In 2003, approximately 45 percent of the CountyÂ’s 2,729 square kilometers of land was urban, while 55 percent was rural. In 2005, a tota l of 1.1 million people were permanent residents. The county has an annual populati on growth rate of 20 percent (US Census 2005a). In fact, approximately 9,100 new homes were built between 2000 and 2004, mostly within the eastern portion of the county, which is currently undergoing rapid development and urban sprawl. The county has a population density of 367 people per square kilometer (US Census 2005b). Total cropland in the county totals 43,541 hectares (Institute of Food and Agri cultural Services 2000b). Hillsborough County lies within the Gulf Coastal Lowlands physiographic unit (Randazzo and Jones 1997). The unit consists of the Ocala-Suwannee Limestone Groups, overlain by Hawthorn Group sediments. Th e Hillsborough River meanders from the northeast to the southwest as it flows from the Green Swamp to the Tampa Bay, bisecting the county. Subsurface flooded caverns help ge nerate small sinkholes in the northwest portion of the county. No known vados e caves exist in the county. The climate of Hillsborough County is ch aracterized by long, humid summers and mild winters. Annual rainfall is 117 centimeter s per year. Freezing temperatures occur 11 days a year with an average winter temperature of 11C. The average summer
37 temperature is 30 C. The vege tation of the county consists largely of pine and saw palmetto flatlands (Leighty et. al 1982). Pasco County Pasco County is bound by Hillsborough County to the south, the Gulf of Mexico on the west, Polk and Sumter counties on th e east, and Hernando County to the north. The countyÂ’s total land surface is 1,929 square kilometers. State and federal governments own 28 square kilometers of Pasco County, most of which is contained within the Withlacoochee State Forest. Pasco CountyÂ’s main enterprise is agri culture, containing more than 26,000 hectares of cropland in 1992 (Institute of Food and Agricultural Services 2000c). In 2005, 429,000 people were permanent residents, a 25 percent increase from 2000. The population density of the county is approximately 179 persons per square kilometer (US Census 2005c). Ne w Port Richey, with a population of 16,334, is the CountyÂ’s larg est municipality. Pasco County is characterized by discon tinuous ridges separated by broad valleys, and is divided into five physiographic ar eas: the Coastal Swamps, the Gulf Coastal Lowlands, the Brooksville Ridge, the Tsala Apopka Plain, and the Western Valley. Several meters of limestone rock underlie the county. Gently sloping, flat limestone terrain of poorly drained soils characterizes the Coastal Swamps. Within the Gulf Coastal Lowlands are well drained relict sand dunes and hectares of wet pastureland. Along the Brooksville Ridge, local relief results from extensive sinkhole development. A few meters of poorly drained sandy to clayey soils cover most of the area (Stankey 1982).
38 The climate of the county is character ized by long, warm, humid summers and cool, mild, dry winters. Average rainfall in the area is 139 ce ntimeters per year. Approximately 60 percent of this rain falls from June to September, while the driest months are November through February. Freezi ng temperatures are expected every eight out of ten years. The average winter temper ature in the county is 15 C, while summer temperatures average 31 C. The vegetation of the county consists larg ely of pine and saw palmetto flatlands, with patchy areas of sa lt-tolerant grassy marsh along the coastal portions of the county (Stankey 1982). Hernando County Hernando County is a 29 kilometer long and 62 kilometer wide county bordered by Citrus County to the north, Pasco County to the south, Sumter C ounty on the east, and the Gulf of Mexico on the west. The count y consists of approximately 1,295 square kilometers of land area (Hernando County Gove rnment 2006). Of that, the Florida state and federal governments owns 182 square kilome ters in the Withlacoochee State Forest and the Chassahowitzka and Chinsegut Nati onal Wildlife Refuges. Hernando County lies in the Gulf Coastal Lowlands physiographic unit (Hyde et. al. 1977). Limestone mining is the largest non-agricultural industry in Hernando County. The county has 9,923 hectares of cropland (Institute of Food and Agricultural Services 2000d). In 2005, the county had 156,000 permanent re sidents and a population density of 106 people per square kilometer. Hernando C ounty is not undergoi ng the rapid growth and urban sprawl seen in the remainder of the counties comprising the TBMA. In fact, the CountyÂ’s estimated annual growth rate over the past few years is only 5 percent
39 Population Trends in TBMA, 1960-200010,000 110,000 210,000 310,000 410,000 510,000 610,000 710,000 810,000 910,000 19601970198019902000 Time (Yrs)Population Pinellas Hillsborough Pasco Hernando (Hernando County Government 2006). The climat e of Hernando County is characterized by long, warm, humid summers and mild, dry wi nters. Annual rainfall is 140 centimeters per year with the majority falling from June to September. Freezing temperatures occur four days a year for periods of ten da ys or more. The CountyÂ’s average summer temperature is 32 C. The average winter temperature in Hernando County is 12 C. There is no well defined surface drainage sy stem in the county. The vegetation of Hernando County consists largely of pine and saw palmetto flatlands (Hyde et. al. 1977). Table 2 illustrates population growth tre nds in the TBMA from 1960 to 2000. Table 2 Population Growth in the TBMA, 1960-2000. (Data taken from CensusScope 2000).
40 Chapter Three Methodology This study required the application of th e KDI to the four counties comprising the TBMA, and interviews with sel ect local and state officials, community planners, and land resource managers, to help with the eval uation of the applicab ility of the KDI. Summary of Methodology The figure shown below ( Figure 7 ) is a flow chart summarizing the methodology used in this study.
41 Figure 7 Methodology Flow Chart (Adapted from (Calo and Parise 2006, p. 49).
42 Assessment of Indicators Table 3 depicts the KDI indicators evaluate d in this study. Several data sources were employed to assess the degree of distur bance to each of th ese karst environment indicators. How these indicators we re evaluated in this study is discussed in further detail below and summarized at the c onclusion of this section in Table 4 Cave indicators were evaluated through personal interv iews with local caving experts, state park officials, and miscellaneous publications discussing the caves within the TBMA. GIS Databases utilized in this study include the Flor ida Geographic Data Library, SWFWMD GIS Database, FDEP Geographic Information Da tabase, and also the Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, Pasco County, and Hernando C ounty Governments GIS Data Libraries.
43Pristine Isolated spots of removal ~50% of speleothems removed Widespread destruction Decoration removal Â–vandalism Micro Only natural flooding due to high rainfall Increased intermittent flooding & <50% filling Increased intermittent flooding & >50% filling Permanent cave inundation Flooding (humaninduced flooding due to surface alteration) Macro Subsurface Karst None Few isolated concentrated areas Widespread but low levels Widespread and high levels Compaction due to livestock or humans Micro Natural rate Moderate High Severe Erosion Macro Soils None 1-34% 34-66% >66% Dumping (% of sinkholes affected) Micro None 1-34% 34-66% >66% Infilling (% of infilled caves/sinks) Meso None 1-34% 34-66% >66% Stormwater drainage (% of total stormwater funneled into sinks) Meso Natural precipitation induced flooding Small scale reservoirs built for farming Flooding of fields for irrigation Total flooding of valley for hydroelectric dams Flooding (human built surface structure) Macro /Meso None Small scale removal of pavement Small working mines Large open cast mines Quarrying/ Mining Macro Surface Landforms Geomorphology 01 2 3 Indicator Scale Attribute Category Pristine Isolated spots of removal ~50% of speleothems removed Widespread destruction Decoration removal Â–vandalism Micro Only natural flooding due to high rainfall Increased intermittent flooding & <50% filling Increased intermittent flooding & >50% filling Permanent cave inundation Flooding (humaninduced flooding due to surface alteration) Macro Subsurface Karst None Few isolated concentrated areas Widespread but low levels Widespread and high levels Compaction due to livestock or humans Micro Natural rate Moderate High Severe Erosion Macro Soils None 1-34% 34-66% >66% Dumping (% of sinkholes affected) Micro None 1-34% 34-66% >66% Infilling (% of infilled caves/sinks) Meso None 1-34% 34-66% >66% Stormwater drainage (% of total stormwater funneled into sinks) Meso Natural precipitation induced flooding Small scale reservoirs built for farming Flooding of fields for irrigation Total flooding of valley for hydroelectric dams Flooding (human built surface structure) Macro /Meso None Small scale removal of pavement Small working mines Large open cast mines Quarrying/ Mining Macro Surface Landforms Geomorphology 01 2 3 Indicator Scale Attribute Category Table 3 Karst Disturbance Index Indicators. (Tak en from van Beynen and Townsend 2005, p. 106).
44<5 15 >35 Changes in water table (decline in meters) Macro Water Quantity Just above natural levels Harmful for short periods Harmful year round Concentrations of harmful chemical constituents in springs At all Scales Water Quality Â–Springs 1-9 Brownfields 10-19 Brownfields >20 Brownfields Industrial/ petroleum spills or dumping Micro Little use of chemicals Heavy spraying of crops/weeds on surface Leakage of concentrated chemicals into aquifer Pesticides and herbicides Meso Water Quality Â–Surface Practices Hydrology Isolated and very low level Widespread but low levels Widespread and high levels Human-induced condensation corrosion Micro Isolated and very low levels Widespread but low levels Widespread and high levels Desiccation Macro Air Quality Atmosphere Small trail through cave ~ 50% of floor sediments Â– decorations affected Most of floor sediments Â– decorations affected Floor sediment compaction Â– destruction Micro Some isolated spots ~50% of cave affected Most of Material removed Mineral Â– sediment removal Micro Subsurface Karst (continued) Geomorphology (continued) <5 15 >35 Changes in water table (decline in meters) Macro Water Quantity Just above natural levels Harmful for short periods Harmful year round Concentrations of harmful chemical constituents in springs At all Scales Water Quality Â–Springs 1-9 Brownfields 10-19 Brownfields >20 Brownfields Industrial/ petroleum spills or dumping Micro Little use of chemicals Heavy spraying of crops/weeds on surface Leakage of concentrated chemicals into aquifer Pesticides and herbicides Meso Water Quality Â–Surface Practices Hydrology Isolated and very low level Widespread but low levels Widespread and high levels Human-induced condensation corrosion Micro Isolated and very low levels Widespread but low levels Widespread and high levels Desiccation Macro Air Quality Atmosphere Small trail through cave ~ 50% of floor sediments Â– decorations affected Most of floor sediments Â– decorations affected Floor sediment compaction Â– destruction Micro Some isolated spots ~50% of cave affected Most of Material removed Mineral Â– sediment removal Micro Subsurface Karst (continued) Geomorphology (continued) Table 3 (Continued)
45Cave trail marked Major tourist cave Major modification Construction in caves Micro Some country lanes Some two lane roads Large cities Building over karst features Meso Some country lanes Some two lane roads Major highways Building of roads Macro Building infrastructure Attempts through NGOs None, public indifference None, public hostility Public Education At all scales Some infrequent enforcement No policing but little damage done Widespread destruction/no enforcement Enforcement of regulations At all scales Statutes in place but with loopholes A few weak regulations No regulation Regulatory protection At all scales Stewardship of Karst Region 1-19% 20-49% >50% Destruction/ removal of historical artifact (% taken) At all scales Human Artifacts Cultural 1-19% 20-49% 50-75% Population density Micro 1-19% 20-49% 50-75% Species richness (% decline) Micro Subsurface Â– Groundwater 1-19% 20-49% 50-75% Population density Micro 1-19% 20-49% 50-75% Species richness (% decline) Micro Subsurface Biota Â–Cave 1-34% 34-66% >66% Vegetation removal (% of total) At all scales Vegetation Disturbance Biota Slight reduction Long dry spells (not seasonal) Total cessationChanges in cave drip waters Micro Water Quantity (continued) Hydrology (continued) Cave trail marked Major tourist cave Major modification Construction in caves Micro Some country lanes Some two lane roads Large cities Building over karst features Meso Some country lanes Some two lane roads Major highways Building of roads Macro Building infrastructure Attempts through NGOs None, public indifference None, public hostility Public Education At all scales Some infrequent enforcement No policing but little damage done Widespread destruction/no enforcement Enforcement of regulations At all scales Statutes in place but with loopholes A few weak regulations No regulation Regulatory protection At all scales Stewardship of Karst Region 1-19% 20-49% >50% Destruction/ removal of historical artifact (% taken) At all scales Human Artifacts Cultural 1-19% 20-49% 50-75% Population density Micro 1-19% 20-49% 50-75% Species richness (% decline) Micro Subsurface Â– Groundwater 1-19% 20-49% 50-75% Population density Micro 1-19% 20-49% 50-75% Species richness (% decline) Micro Subsurface Biota Â–Cave 1-34% 34-66% >66% Vegetation removal (% of total) At all scales Vegetation Disturbance Biota Slight reduction Long dry spells (not seasonal) Total cessationChanges in cave drip waters Micro Water Quantity (continued) Hydrology (continued) Table 3 (Continued)
46 Geomorphology Â– Surface Landforms USGS topographic maps and aerial p hotographs from the 1990Â’s-2000 allowed for the exact determination of the type a nd prevalence of quarrying and mining in each county. In addition, personal interviews with county officials provided confirmation of data extrapolated from the topographic maps Any additional information not contained in the maps or photos was also obtained from these officials and GIS files. Sinkholes present on 1940-1950Â’s topographi c maps were compared to sinkholes present on 1990Â’s-2000 topographic maps to determine the percent loss of sinkholes before and during periods of urbanization. Sate llite images were utilized when recent topographic maps were unavailable. Any publis hed research discussing the percentage loss of sinkholes was also utilized. Field surv eys were conducted to ve rify Â“lostÂ” sinkhole locations, using a randomized sample of si nkholes from the FDEP Sinkhole Database. The percentage of sinkholes utilized as stormwater drains was determined through personal interviews with county stormwater managers. These managers provided data on the number of sinkholes still used as stormwat er drains. This numb er was divided by the total number of sinkholes estimated for each county to determine the percentage of stormwater funneled into sinkholes. Geomorphology Soils United States Department of Agriculture soil surveys and deforestation maps were used to determine the estimated degree of soil erosion for each county. Agricultural Marketing Service reports and county pla nning reports, which pr ovide accurate and complete data on land use, were used to determ ine the percentage of land area utilized for
47 activities potentially resulting in the compac tion of soil. GIS files from the Florida Geographic Data Library pr ovided supplemental data when needed. Agricultural Marketing Service and the FDEP reports were analyzed to determine the percentage of land area affected by the human manipulation of water flow. Geomorphology Â– Subsurface Karst and Atmosphere Â– Air Quality A lack of vadose caves in Pinellas, Hillsborough, and Pasco Counties made the indicators under these attrib utes only applicable in He rnando County. Interviews with local cavers was used to eval uate the degree of decorati on removal/vandalism within caves, percentage of area within the caves affected by sediment removal, level of construction within caves, de siccation, human-induced conde nsation corrosion, and the percentage of cave floor affected by soil co mpaction. No flooding of caves has occurred in the TBMA due to the absence of large dams so the flooding in caves indicator received a score of zero. Disturbance scores for thes e indicators were ascer tained by dividing the number of caves impacting by each disturbance by the total number of caves in Hernando County. A score for vandalism was determin ed by dividing the number of formations remaining in each cave by the number of formations that should be present in the cave. Personal interviews with caving experts also provided information on the changes of cave drip waters within caves in the study area. Hydrology Â– Water Quality Rather than determining pesticide and herbicide concentration levels in the aquifer, determining a score for this indicator involved the analysis of the frequency and quantity of herbicide and pesticide applica tion within the TBMA. To do this, policies
48 regulating the applicat ion of pesticides and herbicid es were evaluated. In addition, personal interviews with officials from the FDEP provided supplemental information of the level of pesticide and herbicide app lication in each county. The number of golf courses and residential establishments poten tially applying these chemicals was also determined from interviews with county o fficials. The United States Environmental Protection Agency website was used to dete rmine the number of br ownfields present in each county to evaluate the industrial a nd petroleum spills or dumping indicator. Moreover, any information found through grey li terature searches was used to determine any additional sources of groundwater contamination. Hydrology Â– Water Quantity Reports from the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD), who closely monitor the level of salt water intr usion and decline of the Floridan aquifer, were used to evaluate the changes in wate r table indicator. A lack of data concerning algal blooms discovered during the applic ation of the KDI in Hillsborough County, Florida revealed the need to evaluate the concentration of harmful chemical constituents in springs to evaluate wate r quality. As such, SWFWMD sp ring water quality reports, which clearly state the level of chemical concentrations above normal, were utilized. Biota Â– Vegetation Disturban ce and Subsurface Biota Deforestation maps created with GIS Arcview data obtained from the Florida Geographic Data Library allowed for the ca lculation of the total percentage of deforestation in each county to evaluate the vegetation removal indicator. Any scientific report discussing the percentage of species richness and population density within caves
49 and groundwater were utilized to evaluate the species richness and population density indicators. Personal collection of this data was beyond the scope of this research project, however, the Withlacoochee State Forest is st arting this project in the near future. Cultural Â– Stewardship of Karst Local, county, and government websites a nd personal interviews with officials from each county was the largest source of information regarding the public education indicator, due to the nature of public education being largely internet-based. The determination of administrative codes, govern ment statutes, and programs related to the protection of karst through in ternet searches and personal interviews were used to evaluate the regulatory protection indicator a nd the accessibility of these regulations and programs to the public. To evaluate the enfo rcement of regulations indicator, a FDEP report on the agencyÂ’s statistics of civil and criminal enforcement of environmental laws was utilized. Information on each individual countyÂ’s enforcement of regulations was gleaned using consent order data obtaine d from the FDEP. Fluctuations in the enforcement of regulations were de termined from this information. Cultural Â– Building Infrastructure United States Census Bureau reports provided information on the degree of building on karst landscapes. In additi on, reports prepared by county planning departments provided informati on on housing densities, and estim ated number and size of malls, industrial parks, and apartment comp lexes built within each county. The Florida Metropolitan Planning Organi zation report on Florida high ways and major roads was used to evaluate the building of roads indicator.
50Table 4 Data sources used to score disturbance indicators in the TBMA. Quarrying/Mining USGS Topographic Maps, County Officials, Aerial Photographs, Hernando County Business Office Flooding Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, FDEP, McGovern (2004) Stormwater Drainage Florida Admi nistrative code: Chapter 62-522.300(3), County Officials Infilling of Sinkholes USGS topog raphic maps, Aerial Photographs, Google Earth Wilson (2004) Dumping of Refuse into Sinks FD EP Sinkhole Data base, Fieldwork Soil Erosion US Department of Ag riculture Soil Surveys, GIS Data Soil Compaction Agricultural Market ing Service Agriculture Census Data, GIS Directories, C ounty Planning Departments Decoration Removal and Vandalism Communications with Local Cavers Mineral Sediment Removal Comm unications with Local Cavers Floor Sediment Compaction Comm unications with Local Cavers Desiccation Communications with Local Cavers Condensation Corrosion Communica tions with Local Cavers Pesticide and Herbicide Use Lantigua (2005), Florida De partment of Agriculture and Consumer Services, FDEP County Officials, Grey Literature Sources Industrial Spills or Dumping United States EPA, Florida EPA, Scorecard Chemical Constituents in Springs SWFWMD, Grey Lite rature Sources Changes in the Water Table SWFWMD Changes in Cave Drip Waters Co mmunications with Local Cavers Vegetation Removal Florida Geogra phic Data Library (USGS Landuse) Cave Biota Species Richness No Data Found Cave Biota Population Density No Data Found Groundwater Species Richness No Data Found Groundwater Population Density No Data Found Destruction of Artifacts Florida Divi sion of Historical Resources, Local archaeologists Regulatory Protection Florida Statutes; Florida Administrati ve Code; Florida Forever Program, FDEP, County GovÂ’t Websites Enforcement of Regulations Office of the General Council Enforcement, FDEP Public Education SWFWMD Website FDEP Website, County Websites Building of Roads Metropolitan Pla nning Organizations, GIS Directories Building Over Karst Features GIS Directories, USGS Construction within Caves Local Cavers, Grey Literature Sources
51 Participant Interviews Qualitative interviews were conducted through a semi-structured face to face meeting with a purposeful se lection of eight key inform ants who had professional knowledge and interest in th e karst of the TBMA. These informants were county and state officials, community planners, a nd land resource managers, holding a position which allows for the KDI to be a tool used to conduct his or her job. County positions must have been held within the TBMA to maintain a consistent study area. Selecting interviewees based upon these criteria ensured that participants ha d expertise in their field. Only eight informants were selected be cause these eight agreed to be interviewed and comments, ideas, and perspectives, starte d to be iterated by several informants. Two interviews were conducted through telephone communication. Interviewees were provided a copy of the KDI and the results of the KDIÂ’s application to Hillsborough County, Florida prior to meeting, to ensure informed participants and eliminate the risk of persua sion by the interviewer. Questions related to whether or not the KDI would or would not be a useful tool for the interviewees to employ in their job. Other questions involve d whether or not interviewees had any suggestions for improving the KDI to make it a more practical tool to employ, whether or not karst knowledge is incorpor ated into their jobs, and also their opinions on the use of qualitative and quantitative data. All answers were tape-recorded for accurate reporting of results. An example set of questions is provided below. Interviews with key informants were also conducted to attain data for individual indicators. However, these in terviews did not have the sa me depth as the interviews
52 concerning the usefulness of the KDI. These interviews did not occur through a face-toface meeting, but rather through te lephone and email communication. Sample Interview Question Set 1) In your work, do you incorporate knowledge of karst? 2) Do you have any training or education in karst science? 3) Is the Karst Disturbance Index useful to your work? Why or why not? 4) What do you think could be incorporated into the KDI to make it more useful? 5) How do you define and/or describe qualitative and quantitative data? 6) What sort of information is valuable to you? (Qualitative, Quantitative, both)? 7) How do you use qualitative data, do you use it with quantitative data? Disturbance Scoring System Using the compilation of the KDI indicators ( Table 2 ) from van Beynen and Townsend (2005) as a guideline, each applicable indicator was assigned a score from 0 to 3: 0no human impacts, 1localized and not severe, 2highly dist urbed and widespread, 3severe disturbance. Indicat ors were assigned a disturban ce scale: macrolarge scale disturbance, mesolocalized small scale dist urbance, and microhighly concentrated small scale disturbance. Indicator scores we re then tallied and di vided by the highest possible score, obtaining a number between 0 and 1. This value corresponds to the five karst disturbance level categories given in van Beynen and Townsend (2005): 0.0-0.19 (pristine), 0.2-0.39 (lit tle disturbance), 0.4-0.59 (disturbed ), 0.6-0.79 (highly disturbed), and 0.8-1.0 (severely disturbed). The closer the value is to one, the greater the degree of disturbance. This scoring system is summarized in Table 5
53 Table 5 Disturbance Classifications. Score (sum/total possible sum)Degree of Disturbance 0.8-1.0 Highly Disturbed 0.6-0.79 Moderately Disturbed 0.4-0.59 Disturbed 0.2-0.39 Little Disturbance 0-0.19 Pristine Level of Confidence In accordance with the KDI guidelines, when an indicator has inadequate data, yet is applicable to the study area, a Lack of Data (LD) score was given. The total number of LDs assigned to indicators was divided by the total number of indicators, resulting in a score from 0.0-1.0. This value represents th e degree of confidence in the calculated disturbance level of each county. A total LD score less than 0.1 suggests a high confidence in the index results, whereas rating values greater than 0.4 suggests that more research is required. Thus, the higher the LD scores, the lower the de gree of certainty in the determined degree of disturbance. Inappli cable indicators were completely discarded from this study (van Beynen and Townsend 2005).
54 Chapter Four Results This study required the application of th e KDI to the four counties comprising the TBMA, which entailed the assessment of each applicable indicator listed in the KDI. Indicators were evaluated from 2006 to 2007. What follows is a table summarizing the TBMA results and justifications for these results ( Table 6 ). After which, indicators are individual discussed to provide detailed justif ications for each indicator score assigned in the TBMA. Following, the total degree of distur bance and the level of confidence in the disturbance calculations for each TBMA county is discussed. This section concludes with a summary of the information obtai ned from participant interviews.
5540% of sinks present in 1960s filled by 2000s 2 Meso Hernando 61% of sinks present in 1950s filled by 2000s 2 Meso Pasco 63% of sinks present in 1940s filled by 2000s 2 Meso Hillsborough 83% of sinks present in 1920s filled by 2000s 3 Meso Pinellas Infilling of Sinks Surface Landforms Attribute 4 of 604 (.66%) of sinks piped for drainage 1 Meso Hernando 8 of 619 (1.3%) of sinks piped for drainage 1 Meso Pasco 5 of 321 (1.6%) of sinks piped for drainage 1 Meso Hillsborough 7 of 261 (3%) of sinks piped for drainage 1 Meso Pinellas Stormwater flow into sinkholes 5.64 km2of 1,295 total km2irrigated cropland 1 Meso Hernando 48 km2 of 1,929 total km2irrigated cropland 1 Meso Pasco 174 km2of 2,729 total km2irrigated cropland 1 Meso Hillsborough 6.43 km2of 683 total km2irrigated cropland 1 Meso Pinellas Flooding of surface karst 5 active mines totaling 76.35 km22 Macro Hernando 10 very small working mines covering 14 km2; peat, clay, limestone, and sandextracted (Stanley, personal communication, 2006) 1 Macro Pasco Contains active and inactive mines, including 1 limestone quarry, 7 phosphate mines, 9 fill quarries, and 13 pit mines; covers 64 km22 Macro Hillsborough No quarries, stripmines, or recalimed mines (Ryburn, personal communication, 2006) 0 Macro Pinellas Quarrying and Mining Geomorphology Justification Score Scale County Indicator Category 40% of sinks present in 1960s filled by 2000s 2 Meso Hernando 61% of sinks present in 1950s filled by 2000s 2 Meso Pasco 63% of sinks present in 1940s filled by 2000s 2 Meso Hillsborough 83% of sinks present in 1920s filled by 2000s 3 Meso Pinellas Infilling of Sinks Surface Landforms Attribute 4 of 604 (.66%) of sinks piped for drainage 1 Meso Hernando 8 of 619 (1.3%) of sinks piped for drainage 1 Meso Pasco 5 of 321 (1.6%) of sinks piped for drainage 1 Meso Hillsborough 7 of 261 (3%) of sinks piped for drainage 1 Meso Pinellas Stormwater flow into sinkholes 5.64 km2of 1,295 total km2irrigated cropland 1 Meso Hernando 48 km2 of 1,929 total km2irrigated cropland 1 Meso Pasco 174 km2of 2,729 total km2irrigated cropland 1 Meso Hillsborough 6.43 km2of 683 total km2irrigated cropland 1 Meso Pinellas Flooding of surface karst 5 active mines totaling 76.35 km22 Macro Hernando 10 very small working mines covering 14 km2; peat, clay, limestone, and sandextracted (Stanley, personal communication, 2006) 1 Macro Pasco Contains active and inactive mines, including 1 limestone quarry, 7 phosphate mines, 9 fill quarries, and 13 pit mines; covers 64 km22 Macro Hillsborough No quarries, stripmines, or recalimed mines (Ryburn, personal communication, 2006) 0 Macro Pinellas Quarrying and Mining Geomorphology Justification Score Scale County Indicator Category Table 6 Summary of TBMA Results and Justifications.
56Subsurface Karst Soils Not Applicable Hernando Not Applicable Pasco Not Applicable Hillsborough Not Applicable Pinellas Flooding of subsurface karst Surface Landforms (continued) Attribute Urban areas cover 41.5% of total land area; population density only 106 persons per km22 Meso Hernando Urban areas cover 50% of total land area; population density 179 persons per km22 Meso Pasco Urban areas cover 45% of total land area; County ranked 7thin state for population density 3 Meso Hillsborough Urban areas cover 94% of total land area; County ranks 30thin nation for population density 3 Macro Pinellas Soil compaction Slope between 0 and 2% in 15 of 39 soil series, slope less than 12% in 12 more soil series 1 Macro Hernando Slope less than 5% in 49 of 58 soil series 1 Macro Pasco Slope between 0 and 2 % in 63 of 74 soil series 1 Macro Hillsborough Slope less than 5% in 21 of 25 soil series 1 Macro Pinellas Soil erosion Refuse in 10 of 22 (45.4%) visited sinkholes 2 Meso Hernando Refuse in 23 of 38 (60.5%) visited sinkholes 2 Meso Pasco Refuse in 24 of 37 (64.8%) visited sinkholes 2 Meso Hillsborough Refuse in 19 or 34 (55.8%) visited sinkholes 2 Meso Pinellas Dumping refuse into sinkholes Geomorphology (continued) Justification Score Scale County Indicator Category Subsurface Karst Soils Not Applicable Hernando Not Applicable Pasco Not Applicable Hillsborough Not Applicable Pinellas Flooding of subsurface karst Surface Landforms (continued) Attribute Urban areas cover 41.5% of total land area; population density only 106 persons per km22 Meso Hernando Urban areas cover 50% of total land area; population density 179 persons per km22 Meso Pasco Urban areas cover 45% of total land area; County ranked 7thin state for population density 3 Meso Hillsborough Urban areas cover 94% of total land area; County ranks 30thin nation for population density 3 Macro Pinellas Soil compaction Slope between 0 and 2% in 15 of 39 soil series, slope less than 12% in 12 more soil series 1 Macro Hernando Slope less than 5% in 49 of 58 soil series 1 Macro Pasco Slope between 0 and 2 % in 63 of 74 soil series 1 Macro Hillsborough Slope less than 5% in 21 of 25 soil series 1 Macro Pinellas Soil erosion Refuse in 10 of 22 (45.4%) visited sinkholes 2 Meso Hernando Refuse in 23 of 38 (60.5%) visited sinkholes 2 Meso Pasco Refuse in 24 of 37 (64.8%) visited sinkholes 2 Meso Hillsborough Refuse in 19 or 34 (55.8%) visited sinkholes 2 Meso Pinellas Dumping refuse into sinkholes Geomorphology (continued) Justification Score Scale County Indicator Category Table 6 (Continued)
57AtmosphereAir Quality No tourist caves; caves are visited by local cavers causing low levels of desiccation 1 Micro Hernando Not Applicable Pasco Not Applicable Hillsborough Not Applicable Pinellas Desiccation Subsurface Karst (continued) Attribute No tourist caves, 7 of 15 caves have very small noticeable paths of compacted sediment 1 Micro Hernando Not Applicable Pasco Not Applicable Hillsborough Not Applicable Pinellas Floor sediment compaction or destruction No minerals extracted, cave breakdown and sediment removed to increase human capacity 1 Micro Hernando Not Applicable Pasco Not Applicable Hillsborough Not Applicable Pinellas Mineral or sediment removal 4 of 7 (57%) caves with decorations impacted 2 Micro Hernando Not Applicable Pasco Not Applicable Hillsborough Not Applicable Pinellas Decoration removal or vandalism Geomorphology (continued) Justification Score Scale County Indicator Category AtmosphereAir Quality No tourist caves; caves are visited by local cavers causing low levels of desiccation 1 Micro Hernando Not Applicable Pasco Not Applicable Hillsborough Not Applicable Pinellas Desiccation Subsurface Karst (continued) Attribute No tourist caves, 7 of 15 caves have very small noticeable paths of compacted sediment 1 Micro Hernando Not Applicable Pasco Not Applicable Hillsborough Not Applicable Pinellas Floor sediment compaction or destruction No minerals extracted, cave breakdown and sediment removed to increase human capacity 1 Micro Hernando Not Applicable Pasco Not Applicable Hillsborough Not Applicable Pinellas Mineral or sediment removal 4 of 7 (57%) caves with decorations impacted 2 Micro Hernando Not Applicable Pasco Not Applicable Hillsborough Not Applicable Pinellas Decoration removal or vandalism Geomorphology (continued) Justification Score Scale County Indicator Category Table 6 (Continued)
58HydrologyWater Quality from Surface Practices Air Quality (continued) Attribute No known brownfields in county 0 Meso Hernando 2 designated superfund sites in county 1 Meso Pasco 4 designated superfund sites in county 1 Meso Hillsborough 1 superfund site in county 1 Meso Pinellas Industrial and petroleum spills or dumping 510 km2of 1,295 total km2is cropland; 23 golf courses; 57 lawn maintenance companies; programs ran to minimize effects of chemicals 2 Meso Hernando 48 km2of 1,929 total km2cropland; 30 golf courses; programs ran to minimize effects of chemicals 2 Meso Pasco Agriculture in county is horticultural using large amounts of pesticides and herbicides; over 300 farms in county; steps taken to ban illegal dumping of pesticides 2 Meso Hillsborough 6.43 km2cropland; 73 golf courses; 126 home lawn maintenance companies; programs ran to minimize effects of chemicals 2 Meso Pinellas Pesticide and herbicide use No tourist caves; caves visited by locals resulting in very minor condensation corrosion 1 Micro Hernando Not Applicable Pasco Not Applicable Hillsborough Not Applicable Pinellas Humaninduced condensation corrosion Atmosphere (continued) Justification Score Scale County Indicator Category HydrologyWater Quality from Surface Practices Air Quality (continued) Attribute No known brownfields in county 0 Meso Hernando 2 designated superfund sites in county 1 Meso Pasco 4 designated superfund sites in county 1 Meso Hillsborough 1 superfund site in county 1 Meso Pinellas Industrial and petroleum spills or dumping 510 km2of 1,295 total km2is cropland; 23 golf courses; 57 lawn maintenance companies; programs ran to minimize effects of chemicals 2 Meso Hernando 48 km2of 1,929 total km2cropland; 30 golf courses; programs ran to minimize effects of chemicals 2 Meso Pasco Agriculture in county is horticultural using large amounts of pesticides and herbicides; over 300 farms in county; steps taken to ban illegal dumping of pesticides 2 Meso Hillsborough 6.43 km2cropland; 73 golf courses; 126 home lawn maintenance companies; programs ran to minimize effects of chemicals 2 Meso Pinellas Pesticide and herbicide use No tourist caves; caves visited by locals resulting in very minor condensation corrosion 1 Micro Hernando Not Applicable Pasco Not Applicable Hillsborough Not Applicable Pinellas Humaninduced condensation corrosion Atmosphere (continued) Justification Score Scale County Indicator Category Table 6 (Continued)
59Water Quantity Spring Water Quality Attribute 25% of wells saltwater intruded in 2004 2 Meso Hernando 28% of wells saltwater intruded in 2004 2 Meso Pasco 3 to 6 meter decline in aquifer underneath the county since 1930s; 13 meter decline in areas 2 Meso Hillsborough 26 to 50% increase in chloride concentrations in most Pinellas County wells in 2005; 32% of monitored wells saltwa ter intruded; water levels in 82% of TBMA wells lower by average of 1.54 meters from 2004 to 2005 3 Macro Pinellas Changes in water table 5 well researched springs Â–all had nitrate concentrations higher than normal level of 0.01 mg/l; algae growth in 1 spring 2 At all scales Hernando Most county springs are not closely monitored; Crystal Spring has nitrate level 1.29 mg/l above normal 2 At all scales Pasco All springs in county had elevated concentrations of nitrate in 2001 2 At all scales Hillsborough Fungi found in Crystal Beach Spring; Wall Spring holding pond for 1.1 billion gallons of effluent; Nitrate concentrations in springs throughout the SWFWMD continually increasing 2 At all scales Pinellas Concentration of harmful chemical constituents in springs Hydrology (continued) Justification Score Scale County Indicator Category Water Quantity Spring Water Quality Attribute 25% of wells saltwater intruded in 2004 2 Meso Hernando 28% of wells saltwater intruded in 2004 2 Meso Pasco 3 to 6 meter decline in aquifer underneath the county since 1930s; 13 meter decline in areas 2 Meso Hillsborough 26 to 50% increase in chloride concentrations in most Pinellas County wells in 2005; 32% of monitored wells saltwa ter intruded; water levels in 82% of TBMA wells lower by average of 1.54 meters from 2004 to 2005 3 Macro Pinellas Changes in water table 5 well researched springs Â–all had nitrate concentrations higher than normal level of 0.01 mg/l; algae growth in 1 spring 2 At all scales Hernando Most county springs are not closely monitored; Crystal Spring has nitrate level 1.29 mg/l above normal 2 At all scales Pasco All springs in county had elevated concentrations of nitrate in 2001 2 At all scales Hillsborough Fungi found in Crystal Beach Spring; Wall Spring holding pond for 1.1 billion gallons of effluent; Nitrate concentrations in springs throughout the SWFWMD continually increasing 2 At all scales Pinellas Concentration of harmful chemical constituents in springs Hydrology (continued) Justification Score Scale County Indicator Category Table 6 (Continued)
60Subsurface Groundwater Biota Vegetation Disturbance Subsurface Cave Biota Biota Lack of data available LD Hernando Lack of data available LD Pasco Lack of data available LD Hillsborough Lack of data available LD Pinellas Species richness and population density of groundwater biota Water Quantity (continued) Attribute Lack of data available LD Hernando Not applicable Pasco Not applicable Hillsborough Not applicable Pinellas Species richness and population density of cave biota 34.2% of forested lands destroyed 2 Macro Hernando 33.4% of forested lands destroyed 1 Macro Pasco 95% of forested lands destroyed 3 Macro Hillsborough 95% of forested lands destroyed 3 Macro Pinellas Vegetation removal No significant changes in cave drip waters 1 Micro Hernando Not Applicable Pasco Not Applicable Hillsborough Not Applicable Pinellas Changes in cave drip waters Hydrology (continued) Justification Score Scale County Indicator Category Subsurface Groundwater Biota Vegetation Disturbance Subsurface Cave Biota Biota Lack of data available LD Hernando Lack of data available LD Pasco Lack of data available LD Hillsborough Lack of data available LD Pinellas Species richness and population density of groundwater biota Water Quantity (continued) Attribute Lack of data available LD Hernando Not applicable Pasco Not applicable Hillsborough Not applicable Pinellas Species richness and population density of cave biota 34.2% of forested lands destroyed 2 Macro Hernando 33.4% of forested lands destroyed 1 Macro Pasco 95% of forested lands destroyed 3 Macro Hillsborough 95% of forested lands destroyed 3 Macro Pinellas Vegetation removal No significant changes in cave drip waters 1 Micro Hernando Not Applicable Pasco Not Applicable Hillsborough Not Applicable Pinellas Changes in cave drip waters Hydrology (continued) Justification Score Scale County Indicator Category Table 6 (Continued)
61Stewardship of Karst Region Human Artifacts Attribute 45% increase in orders issued between 19861999 and 2000-2005; only 12 issued in 1 year 1 At all scales Hernando Decrease is orders issued between 1986-1996 and 1997-2005 1 At all scales Pasco 14% increase in orders issued between 19861996 and 1997-2005; only 30 issued in 1 year 1 At all scales Hillsborough 45% increase in consent orders issued between 1986-1996 and 1997-2005; 62 issued in 1 year 0 At all scales Pinellas Enforcement of regulations 1 At all scales Hernando 1 At all scales Pasco 1 At all scales Hillsborough Florida Administrative code Chapter 62522.300(3) prohibiting water discharge into sinks; Chapter 62-610.523(9) regulating reclaimed water discharged into aquifers; Florida Statute 810.13 protection caves and sinkholes; karst risk assessments; Florida Forever Program (land acquisition program); NPDES regulating the discharge of pollutants; each county also maintains local regulations 1 At all scales Pinellas Regulatory protection 357 sites; unknown how many are destroyed; protection is lacking, but destructive urbanization not as high in this county 2 Micro Hernando 975 sites; unknown how many are destroyed; increasing urbanization likely destructive 2 Micro Pasco 355 archaeological sites; 40% reportedly destroyed, but this number is deemed low because no sites in county are protected 3 Micro Hillsborough 420 archaeological sites; unknown how many are destroyed; protection is lacking so high urbanization has destroyed most TBMA sites 3 Micro Pinellas Destruction or removal of historical artifacts Cultural Justification Score Scale County Indicator Category Stewardship of Karst Region Human Artifacts Attribute 45% increase in orders issued between 19861999 and 2000-2005; only 12 issued in 1 year 1 At all scales Hernando Decrease is orders issued between 1986-1996 and 1997-2005 1 At all scales Pasco 14% increase in orders issued between 19861996 and 1997-2005; only 30 issued in 1 year 1 At all scales Hillsborough 45% increase in consent orders issued between 1986-1996 and 1997-2005; 62 issued in 1 year 0 At all scales Pinellas Enforcement of regulations 1 At all scales Hernando 1 At all scales Pasco 1 At all scales Hillsborough Florida Administrative code Chapter 62522.300(3) prohibiting water discharge into sinks; Chapter 62-610.523(9) regulating reclaimed water discharged into aquifers; Florida Statute 810.13 protection caves and sinkholes; karst risk assessments; Florida Forever Program (land acquisition program); NPDES regulating the discharge of pollutants; each county also maintains local regulations 1 At all scales Pinellas Regulatory protection 357 sites; unknown how many are destroyed; protection is lacking, but destructive urbanization not as high in this county 2 Micro Hernando 975 sites; unknown how many are destroyed; increasing urbanization likely destructive 2 Micro Pasco 355 archaeological sites; 40% reportedly destroyed, but this number is deemed low because no sites in county are protected 3 Micro Hillsborough 420 archaeological sites; unknown how many are destroyed; protection is lacking so high urbanization has destroyed most TBMA sites 3 Micro Pinellas Destruction or removal of historical artifacts Cultural Justification Score Scale County Indicator Category Table 6 (Continued)
62Caves are gated 1 Micro Hernando Not applicable Pasco Not applicable Hillsborough Not applicable Pinellas Construction within caves 106 people per km2; not undergoing rapid urbanization Â–5% annual growth rate; 42% of total land area is urban 2 Meso Hernando 50% of land area is urban; population density 179 people per km2 Â–25% increase from 2000 3 Meso Pasco 45% of total land area is urban; 5.9% increase in home construction from 2000-2002 alone 3 Meso Hillsborough First county in Florida to achieve buildout; population density ranks 30thin nation; urban areas cover 94% of total land area 3 Meso Pinellas Building over karst features 2 interstates and 4 roads with at least 6 lanes 3 Macro Hernando 1 interstate and 7 roads with at least 6 lanes 3 Macro Pasco 3 interstates and 34 roads with at least 8 lanes 3 Macro Hillsborough 2 interstates and 31 roads with at least 6 lanes 3 Macro Pinellas Building of roads Building Infrastructure Stewardship of Karst Region (continued) 1 At all scales Hernando 1 At all scales Pasco 1 At all scales Hillsborough Governmental and non-governmental agencies educating public, however, programs are largely internet based and reach citizens seeking information; programs include Neighborhood Enviro nmental Action Team; FL Solid and Hazardous Waste Handbook; entertainment-based programs such as WaterÂ’s Journey and water conservation plays; each county also maintains local programs 1 At all scales Pinellas Public education Attribute Cultural (continued) Justification Score Scale County Indicator Category Caves are gated 1 Micro Hernando Not applicable Pasco Not applicable Hillsborough Not applicable Pinellas Construction within caves 106 people per km2; not undergoing rapid urbanization Â–5% annual growth rate; 42% of total land area is urban 2 Meso Hernando 50% of land area is urban; population density 179 people per km2 Â–25% increase from 2000 3 Meso Pasco 45% of total land area is urban; 5.9% increase in home construction from 2000-2002 alone 3 Meso Hillsborough First county in Florida to achieve buildout; population density ranks 30thin nation; urban areas cover 94% of total land area 3 Meso Pinellas Building over karst features 2 interstates and 4 roads with at least 6 lanes 3 Macro Hernando 1 interstate and 7 roads with at least 6 lanes 3 Macro Pasco 3 interstates and 34 roads with at least 8 lanes 3 Macro Hillsborough 2 interstates and 31 roads with at least 6 lanes 3 Macro Pinellas Building of roads Building Infrastructure Stewardship of Karst Region (continued) 1 At all scales Hernando 1 At all scales Pasco 1 At all scales Hillsborough Governmental and non-governmental agencies educating public, however, programs are largely internet based and reach citizens seeking information; programs include Neighborhood Enviro nmental Action Team; FL Solid and Hazardous Waste Handbook; entertainment-based programs such as WaterÂ’s Journey and water conservation plays; each county also maintains local programs 1 At all scales Pinellas Public education Attribute Cultural (continued) Justification Score Scale County Indicator Category Table 6 (Continued)
63 Assessment of Indicators The following section will discuss indivi dually discuss each indicator to provide detailed justifications for each indi cator score assigned in the TBMA. Geomorphology Â– Surface Landforms This attribute focuses on the human-i nduced disturbance of surficial karst features, that is, land features formed by ka rst processes at or near the land surface. Quarrying is a localized practice, yet it causes the most destruction to karst terrains (van Beynen and Townsend 2005). These disturbances include destroying caves and sinkholes, changing spring discharge and groundwater le vels, and also removing carbonate rock masses essential for the development of kars t terrains. Natural flooding of surface karst can result in small-scale damage of karst te rrains. Human manipulati on of water flow can heighten the effects of this destruction, irregardle ss of whether the flooding is the total inundation of a valley or localized floodi ng of a farm. Sinkholes serve as possible drainage sites for urban stormwater and rais e pollution levels within aquifers (van Beynen and Townsend 2005). Moreover, sinkhole s are frequently infilled for urban construction projects, altering na tural karst drainage patterns. Quarrying/Mining Â– The disturbance score for this indica tor is based on the coverage of quarrying and mining areas versus total la nd area in each county. USGS topographic maps from the 1990s-2000 were utilized to in dicate the type and prevalence of quarrying and mining that occurs in Hillsborough County. Information from the Hillsborough County Planning and Growth Management Deve lopment Service was used to account for any new mines not covered by the topographic maps. Phosphate mine data was collected
64 from the Florida Institute of Phosphate Research. In total, Hillsborough County has 1 limestone quarry, 7 active or recently inactive phosphate mines, 9 fill quarries, 13 small sand pit mines and numerous reclaimed mines, covering 64 km2, or 2.4 percent of the CountyÂ’s total land area. These mines produce little toxic tailings. Acidic tailings ponds are found only in southern Hillsborough Count y, where the phosphate mines are located. Information from the Hernando County Office of Business Management revealed that the county contains five active mi ning operations. Rinker Materials, Vulcan Materials, and Cemex collectively extract limestone for construction aggregate and cement production on 5,746 hectares of land, while Florida Rock-Limestone mines 1,618 hectares of land. Lastly, ER Jahna-Limestone mines 271 hectares for products utilized in roadway construction (McHugh, personal co mmunication, 2007). One insignificant clay mine is also located in the county. Overal l, six percent of Hernando CountyÂ’s land is covered by mines. Figure 8 shows the location of these mining operations.
65 Figure 8 Mining Operations in Hernando County, Florida Flooding of Surface Karst Â– During FloridaÂ’s dry season, cr ops require the addition of water via irrigation. As shown in Figure 9 48 km2 of Pasco CountyÂ’s 1,929 km2 of land were irrigated cropland in 2002 (Agricultural Marketi ng Service 2002a). Irrigation systems are also used to grow blueberries, watermelons, corn, soybeans, and citrus fruits in Hernando county on 5.64 km2 of land ( Figure 10 ) (Agricultural Marketing Service 2002b). Only 6.43 km2, out of 683 total km2 of land in Pinellas County, were irrigated citrus crops the same year ( Figure 11 ) (Agricultural Marketing Service 2002c). In Hillsborough County, agricultural irrigation systems are used to grow watermelons, strawberries, squash, and citrus on 174 km2 of cropland ( Figure 12 ) (McGovern 2004), while Flood control mechanisms are instituted on each CountyÂ’s croplands to prevent crop damage and agricultural flooding of th e karst terrain (Florida DEP 2004a).
66 Figure 9 Pasco County, Florida Cropland in 2002. Figure 10 Irrigated and Non-irrigated Cropl and in Hernando County, Florida.
67 Figure 11 Pinellas County, Florida Cropland in 2002.
68 Figure 12 Hillsborough County, Florida Cropland in 2002.
69 Stormwater Flow into Sinkholes Â– To evaluate this indica tor, the percentage of sinkholes utilized as stormwater drains in each TBMA county was determined. Florida Administrative code, Chapter 62-522.300(3) states Â“discharges through wells or sinkholes that allow direct cont act with Class G-I, Class F -I, or Class G-II groundwater shall not be allowed a zone of dischargeÂ” (Florida Ad ministrative code, Chapter 62522.300(3)). However, some sinkholes previously used for stormwater drainage are not re-piped. In 2000, Pinellas County containe d 261 sinkholes (Wilson 2004). Of these 261 sinkholes, only seven, or 3%, are reportedly used for stormwater drainage (Holt, personal communication, 2006). Five Hillsborough Count y sinkholes are piped for stormwater drainage (Awad, personal communication, 2005), while eight Pa sco County sinkholes (Tietz, personal communication, 2006) and f our Hernando County sinkholes are piped for stormwater drainage (Velsor, personal communication, 2007). Nonetheless, although the determination of an exact figure is beyond the scope of this project, many of FloridaÂ’s old stormwater retention ponds were built in de pressions, which were likely sinkholes (Holt, personal communication, 2006). Documentation s upporting this suspicion is unavailable, hence its exclusion when determining indicator scores. Infilling of Sinkholes Â– Evaluating this disturbance requ ires the determination of the percentage of infilled sinkholes within each county. Construction projects require sinkholes to be covered or in filled for development. If the sinkhole is not properly infilled, buildings on the surface are vulnerable to subsidence (Sinclair et al. 1985). Using aerial photographs from 1926 and 2000, Wilson (2004) calculated the percentage of sinkholes lost to infillin g from rapid urbanization. While 1926 aerial photographs
70 revealed 1,570 sinkholes, only 261 sinkholes were present in the 2000 aerial photographs. Consequently, 83 percent of the sinkholes present in 1926 were infilled by 2000. USGS 1:24:00 topographic maps of Hills borough County were utilized to assess the number of filled sinkholes by comparing 1940s maps to updated maps from 19902000. The 1940s quadrangles contained 871 sink holes, compared to only 321 sinkholes on the 1990-2000 topographic maps. Consequentl y, 63 percent of the sinkholes present in 1940 were filled by 1990. The sinkholes were assumed infilled if the area containing the sinkhole was shown as non-residential on the 1940s ma ps, but residential on the 1990-2000 maps. For example, a mall that ap peared on the 1990 map was in the same location of a sinkhole on the 1940 map, so it is safe to assume the sinkhole was infilled. Ground-truthing was undertaken to check the va lidity of this assumption. A sample of 30 of the proposed infilled sinkhole sites, we re visited throughout Hillsborough County. All sinkholes were no longer present. The loss of sinkholes in Pasco and He rnando Counties was determined using USGS 1:24:00 topographic maps from the 1950s -1960s and satellite images from the 2000s. The 1950s and 1960s topographic maps were last updated in the 1970s. Therefore, in order to attain the most accurate and upto-date estimate for sinkholes infilled during development, more recently updated satellite images on Google Earth were utilized. In Pasco County approximately 1,558 sinkholes were counted on the 1950s topographic maps. By 2002, there were 619 sinkholes detect ed on the satellite images of the county. Thus, 61 percent of sinkholes present in the 1950s in Pasco County were infilled by 2004. Similarly, 1,017 sinkholes were counted on 196 0s quadrangle maps of Hernando County,
71 while only 604 sinkholes were present on th e 2000s satellite im ages of the county. Consequently, 40% of the sinkholes pr esent in 1960s were filled by 2002. Dumping Refuse into Sinkholes Â– While this indicator encompasses both intentional and incidental dumping of refuse into si nkholes, only sinkholes Â“with materials dumped into it of a quantity or quality to impact karst through clogging, po llution, and aestheticsÂ” were considered when assigning an indi cator score (van Beynen and Townsend 2005, p.105). Approximately 50 percent of the exis ting sinkholes listed in the FDEP Sinkhole Database (2005) for each county were visited to visually check for the presence of garbage in order to assign scores to this disturbance. In Pinellas County 34 sinkholes listed in the database were visited. Refuse was present in 19 of 34 visited sinkholes and consisted of soda cans, paper, a tire, and a five gallon bucket. In Hillsborough County, 37 randomly sampled sinkholes were visited. Dumping within thes e visited sinkholes included, but was not limited to, soda cans, ha ngers, and boxes. Moreover, Blue Sink, one of the largest sinkholes in Hillsborough County became clogged when a dumpster from a neighboring car dealership fell into it. In Pasco County 38 randomly selected sinkholes were inspected. Although the contents of four sinkholes were not visible and three sinkholes were infilled, refuse was present in 23 sinkholes and consisted of soda cans, a household garbage bag, and cardboard boxes. In Hernando County, 31 si nkholes listed in the FDEP Sinkhole Database (2005) were inspecte d. Nine sinkholes were infilled Refuse was present in 10 of the 22 remaining sinkholes and consisted of cardboard boxes, a cinder block, sheets of plywood, and large quan tities golf balls.
72 Geomorphology Â– Soils The development of karst landscapes is dependent upon soluble carbonate rocks and slightly acidic water (Lane 1986; Ra lston and Oweis 1999). Soils are a major contributing source of the carbonic acid nece ssary to acidify percolation water, making soil conservation of great importance to the co ntinued natural formation of karst terrains (van Beynen and Townsend 2005). Nonetheless, soils are continually eroded by poor agricultural and forestry practices and co mpacted by humans and livestock reducing water percolation, accumulating water on the surface, increasing flooding of the area, and lowering aquifer recharge rates (van Be ynen and Townsend 2005). The indicators under this attribute attempt to analyze each of these human-induced disturbances. Soil Erosion Â– The TBMA is apart of the Gulf Coas tal Lowlands. Increased development and continuing urban sprawl in Pinellas, Hillsborough, and Pasco Counties led to an increase of deforestation practi ces and an increase in soil erosion rates. For example, of the 272,900 hectares of land in Hillsborough County only 17,634 hectares are still forested, indicating a 94 percent decline in the forested lands in the county. Figure 13 shows the current location of th ese forested and urban areas.
73 Figure 13 Forest and Urban Areas in Hillsborough County, Florida. While karst terrains generally have a thin layer of soil cover, overburden material is approximately 9-60 meters thick in Pine llas County (Tihansky and Knochenmus 2002) and 0-244 cm thick in Hernando and Pasco Counties. Subsequently, the limestone underlying these counties is not as susceptible to the effects of soil erosion as typical karst terrains (Randazzo and Jones 1997) Hillsborough CountyÂ’s limestone is also
74 covered with a mantel of approximately five meters of sandy clay (Randazzo and Jones 1997). Unlike the other counties comprisi ng the TBMA, Hernando County is not experiencing rapid urbanization or defo restation so soil erosion is minimized. Although urban development can lead to deforestation and soil erosion, steep gradients are necessary to accelerate the er osion process. Pinellas County lacks steep gradients. Only 4 out of the 25 soil series in Pinellas County have a slope greater than five percent (Agricultural Ma rketing Services 2002a). In Hernando County, 15 out of 39 soil series have slopes between 0 and 2 percent. Twelve more series have slopes less than 5 percent (Hyde et. al. 1977). Only 9 of the 58 soil series in Pasco County have a slope greater than 5 percent (Sta nkey 1982). Lastly, 63 of the 74 soil classifications in Hillsborough County have slopes between 0 a nd 2 percent (Leighty 1958). Weed mats prevent soil from washing away from construc tion sites in each of these counties, while shelter belts are used to decr ease aeolian erosion in rural areas (van Beynen et al. 2007). Soil Compaction Â– The scoring of this indicator was established by comparing the amount of urban land to total land area in ea ch county. Agricultural activities, livestock, and urbanization can affect soil compaction. Only 6.43 km2 of Pinellas County are considered cropland (Agricultural Marketi ng Service 2002a). Thus, agriculture does not significantly compact the CountyÂ’s soil. Instead, soil compaction results from the building of roads, houses, and commer cial and industrial infrastructure. Figure 14 shows current urban areas in Pine llas County. In 2003, only six percent of the CountyÂ’s 683 km2 was vacant developable land (Pinellas Count y Planning Department 2003). In fact, the
75 population density of Pinellas County, 1,217 people per square kilometer, ranks 30th amongst all counties in the United States (KnowledgePlex 2007). Figure 14 Urban development in Pinellas County, Florida. Soil compaction also results from urbanization in Hillsborough County. The sandy soils in the county are not greatly co mpacted by agriculture. Urban lands account for 38 percent of the C ountyÂ’s total land area ( Figure 13 ). Moreover, in 2002, the county was ranked 7th in the state for populati on density (Floyd 2003).
76 Only 4,800 hectares of Pasco CountyÂ’s 192,900 hectares of land were irrigated cropland in 2002 (Agricultural Marketing Service 2002b), so agricultura l activities do not extensively impact the CountyÂ’s soil. As such, soil compaction in Pasco County largely results from vast urbanizati on in this county as well. In 2005, only 40 percent of the 1,929 km2 of total land area in the county was unurbanized (Pasco County Planning Department 2000). F igure 15 shows Pasco CountyÂ’s urbanized areas as of 2000. Figure 15 Urbanized Regions in Pasco County, Florida in 2000. Agricultural activities, nor vast ur banization, have a si gnificant impact on Hernando CountyÂ’s soil. Only 564 hectares of the CountyÂ’s 129,500 hectares of land were irrigated cropland in 2002 ( Figure 16 ) (Agricultural Market ing Service 2002c). In 2003, an estimated 1,127 km2, of the 1,929 km2 of total land area in the county, was
77 unurbanized (Hernando County Planning Department 2003). Moreover, the population density in the county is only 106 people per km2 (Hernando County Government 2006). Figure 16 Urbanized Land in Hernando County, Florida. Geomorphology Â– Subsurface Karst The following indicators evaluate the c onditions of both vadose and semi-phreatic caves. The disturbance to phreatic caves is assessed under the Â“HydrologyÂ” category. Disturbance to this attributeÂ’s indicators can change the aesthetic nature of the cave, alter cave climate by changing air flow patterns, a nd destroy the habitat of delicate cave biota. The degree of human-induced flooding in a cav e determines the degree of disturbance caused to cave systems. Decoration removal dest roys the aesthesis of cave systems, alters air flow patterns, and changes dripwater pa tterns. The removal of cave minerals and
78 sediment alters cave passages, change air fl ow patterns within th e cave systems, and results in the removal of cave organisms food and habitat (Villar et al. 1986; van Beynen and Townsend 2005). The compaction of floor sedi ment via foot traffic, which can result in a concrete-like su rface, also destroys cave organism sÂ’ habitat (Gillieson 1996). For these reasons an understanding of the degree of human-i nduced disturbance to cave floors, minerals, and decorations is im portant in understanding the overall humaninduced impact to karst. Pinellas, Hillsborough, and Pasco Coun ties only contain submerged caves. Therefore, disturbance caused by cave floodi ng, decoration removal, sediment removal, and floor sediment compaction in these thr ee counties was discarded from this study. There are fifteen known vadose caves in Hernan do County that were each evaluated for these aforementioned disturbances. Flooding Â– Hernando County contains no large da ms which alter the land surface. Therefore, this indicator wa s discarded from this study. Decoration Removal/Vandalism Â– Many of Hernando CountyÂ’s caves do not have decorations. In fact, of the fifteen known vadose caves in the Hernando County, six have decorations (Turner, personal communicati on, 2007). Only small portions of each of these caves are decorated. For instance, Bloodblister Cave ha s one section in a larger room, which is decorated with a pristin e column/flowstone formation. BRC Cave arguably contains the most amazing array of speleothems in Florida; only the speleothems at the cavesÂ’ entrance are destroyed (Turner, personal communication, 2007). A high level of vandalism is reported in caves just north of the Hernando County
79 line, but not in any Hernando County caves. Over all, a score for this indicator was based upon the percentage of decora tion removal or vandalism in Hernando CountyÂ’s caves as a whole. Of the seven vadose caves in Herna ndo County that contain formations, four, or 57 percent, are impacted by decoration removal. Mineral Sediment Removal Â– No minerals are extracted from any of Hernando CountyÂ’s caves. However, due to the small nature of the CountyÂ’ s caves, debris and sediment is often removed from cave entr ance to widen openings and cave rooms to increase human capacity (Turner, pe rsonal communication, 2007). Two Hernando County caves are located at abandoned quarri es, but no minerals or sediments were extracted from the caves themselves. Qu arter Cave and DanÂ’s Tomb contain no sediments (Turner, personal communication, 2007). Floor Sediment Compaction or Destruction Â– Hernando County does not contain any tourist caves, minimizi ng foot traffic within the Count yÂ’s caves. Moreover, the caves with the county are not frequently visited du e to their relative in accessibility and small size (Turner, personal communi cation, 2007). However, six of the CountyÂ’s fifteen caves do have small noticeable paths of compacted sediment. One of Hernando CountyÂ’s caves has a highly compacted crawlway. Atmosphere Â– Air Quality The deterioration of cave ai r quality destroys karst ro cks and secondary deposits (van Beynen and Townsend 2005). Thus, the indicat ors within this category evaluate the level of desiccation and condensation corro sion of cave passages and decorations.
80 Desiccation and condensation corrosion within caves can result from artificial cave lighting, body heat, and respired CO2 (Villar et al. 1986). The exact determination of the level of desiccation through the measurement of relative humidity changes was not used during this study. Instead, indicator scores were determined by evaluating i ndividual cave decorations for both the desiccation and condensation corrosion indicators. Cave decora tions and passages affected by desiccation generally loss moisture and dry out. Due to a lack of vadose caves the desiccation and human-induced condensation corro sion indicators under the Â“Air QualityÂ” attribute were discarded in Pinellas, Pasc o, and Hillsborough Counties. Desiccation Â– Hernando County contains no tourist cave s, diminishing the possibility of desiccation by intense artificial cave light ening and tourist body heat. Moreover, as previously mentioned, the county contains few caves with decorations that could experience desiccation. Nonetheless, Herna ndo CountyÂ’s caves are occasionally visited by local residents and cavers, resulting in very low levels of desicc ation (Turner, personal communication, 2007). Human-induced Condensation Corrosion Â– For the same reasons listed in the desiccation indicator discussi on, condensation corrosion is no t a significant disturbance to Hernando CountyÂ’s caves (Turner, personal communica tion, 2007). However, persons have visited each cave within the county, resu lting in very minor occurrences of humaninduced condensation corrosion.
81 Hydrology Â– Water Quality from Surface Practices This section deals with surface practices, which may impact groundwater quality. Water is an essential compone nt of karst environments. Therefore, maintaining the quality of both surface water and groundwater in these environments in vital. However, nutrient concentrations vary greatly between regions. Thus, exact nutri ent levels were not evaluated when assessing the indicators of this attribute. Pesticide and Herbicide Use Â– Both agricultural and residential properties utilize pesticides and herbicides. Swancar (1996) reve aled the presence of high concentrations of chemical constituents in groundwater under gol f courses compared to undeveloped land. Therefore, rather than determining pesticid e and herbicide concentration levels in the aquifer, determining a score for this indicator involved the analysis of the frequency and quantity of herbicide and pesticide applicati on on each these properties. Overall, due to the widespread nature of agri cultural fields, pesticide and herbicide use is considered a macro-scale disturbance in Hillsborough, Pa sco, and Hernando Counties. However, in lieu of the rapid conversion of rural to urban areas w ithin Hillsborough and Pasco Counties, this indicator will probably become a meso-scale disturbance within a decade. In 2002, 6.43 km2 in Pinellas County were citrus, nursery stock, or floriculture farms (United States Department of Agriculture 2002), while 48 km2 in Pasco County were cropland. In the same year, 51,054 hect ares of Hernando CountyÂ’s 129,500 hectares of land was cropland (Agricu ltural Marketing Service 2002b) None of these croplands were associated with heavy pesticide or herbic ide use. In fact, the la rgest portion of these croplands is agriculture, not horticultural. Horticulture generally uses large amounts of
82 pesticides and herbicides. Florida is the la rgest users of these products in the nation (Lantigua 2005). Hillsborough County contains over 300 farms (Troutt, personal communication, 2006). Small cattle farms are also scattered throughout the county, but there is no record of pesticide or herbicide use on these farms. Pinellas County also contai ns 73 golf courses, which ex tensively apply pesticides and herbicides (Ryburn, pers onal communication, 2006). A ta bulation of homeowners employing the use of lawn pesticides and herbicid es is difficult. Nonetheless, it should be noted that there are 126 home lawn mainte nance companies servicing Pinellas County, which employ the use of pesticides and herbic ides (Business Broker, undated). Similarly, Hernando County contains 23 golf courses, which extensively apply pesticides and herbicides (McHugh, personal communication, 2007). There are also 57 home lawn maintenance companies servicing the c ounty (McHugh, personal communication, 2007). Lastly, Pasco County has 30 golf courses (Pasco County Office of Tourism 2004). Despite the high frequency of pesticide a nd herbicide applicati on within each of these counties, steps have been taken to mi nimize the effects of pesticide and herbicide use. The FDEP published Â“ Best Management Practices for Golf Course Maintenance Departments ,Â” in 1995. The principal of this work is Â“to minimize irrigation, fertilizer, and pesticide use requirements through the use of integrated pest management and native or naturalized vegetationÂ” (Florida DEP 1995, p.2). The FDEPÂ’s Operation Cleansweep has collected over 60,600 pounds of cancelled, suspended, and unusable pesticides for safe disposal (Florida DEP 2006b). Each county supports the Florida Yards and Neighborhoods Program, a program developed to help residents decrease pollution by improving landscape management (Florida Yards and Neighborhoods Program, undated).
83 The University of FloridaÂ’s In stitute of Food and Ag ricultural Sciences (IFAS) directs the Management of Water Program in each county. This program is directly responsible for three container grown nurseries and two golf c ourses establishing plant filtration barriers to reduce pesticide runoff (IFAS 2002). The Florida Department of Agriculture Bu reau of Pesticides regulates pesticides, maintains a chemical laboratory for the monitoring of ground and surface water for excessive pesticide or herbicid e concentrations, registers pe sticide products, and conducts scientific reviews on the envir onmental and health risks of pe sticide use in any particular region. However, the benefit of this monitoring program is minimized due to a lack of personnel. For example, Hillsborough County onl y has one inspector who is responsible for monitoring 300 farms (Lantigua 2005). As such, farms are only inspected once every two years; farmers are usually told a w eek in advance of an impending inspection. The Pollution Prevention and Resource Recovery Department of the Pinellas County Government, in partnership with th e FDEP, Autobahn Society, and golf course owners, are currently formulating a program to Â“get the issue of gol f course runoff under control,Â” (Ryburn, personal communication, 200 6). Participating golf courses managers will receive information on Â“how the nutrients in reclaimed water can replace the use of pesticides and herbicidesÂ” (Ryburn, persona l communication, 2006). Mo reover, partakers will attend certification courses demonstrating the most environmentally conscious methods of pesticide and herbic ide application. However, part icipation in the program is voluntary, so the potential be nefits may be minimized. The Hernando County Government C ooperative Extension Service Office provides Hernando County citi zens with planned agricultural program s, designed to
84 Â“provide practical and useful information via meetings, tours, demonstrations, and individual consultationsÂ” (Hernando County Extension Office 2006). These programs focus on environmental friendly insect ma nagement, integrated pest management, fertilizers and soil fertility, and pesticide use. This office also provides pesticide applicator training and certif ication. Other miscellaneous in formation contained on their website includes tips for reducing stormwater runoff pollution, the herbicides-pesticidesfertilizers information packet, and tips for reducing water pollution at home and at work. The county also strongly promotes the con cept that reducing stormwater pollution depends on each individual becoming part of the solution through their Â“Do your part to prevent stormwater runoffÂ” brochure (H ernando County Extension Office 2006).The Hernando County NPDES Stormwater Progra m, in corporation with the EPA, implements regulations and policies to meet six minimum measures. These include public education and outreach, public pa rticipation and involvement, illicit discharge detection and elimination, construction site runoff cont rol, post-construction runoff control, and pollution prevention and good housekeeping (H ernando County Department of Public Works 2003). The status of the program is continually updated on the Hernando County Government website. Industrial and Petroleum Spills or Dumping Â– Brownfields and industrial spills are a source of harmful groundwater leachate. Scor ing for this indicator is based upon the number of brownfields in each county. A brow nfield is defined as Â“real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of whic h may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant,Â” (USEPA 2003).
85 Volatile organic compounds and dense non-aque ous phase liquids generally occur in high concentrations at these sites (van Beynen and Townsend 2005). Pinellas County only contains one superf und site, resulting in a score on one. Nonetheless, several other Pinellas C ounty sites are a source of groundwater contamination. The Progress Energy Plant in St. Petersburg, Florida released 1,438 pounds of toxic chemicals onto county land in 2002 (Scorecard 2005a). The Building 100 Area in Largo, Florida is a former 4.5acre Department of Energy facility. The improper disposal of organic solvents and metals us ed during the production of neutron generators contaminated groundwater at th is site. In 1997, remediation ac tivities at the site removed 83 drums and 303 tons of contaminated soil (United States Department of Energy 1998). Molex TBO Incorporated accidentally rele ased 1,887 pounds of copper onto Pinellas County land in 2004. The same year, 205 pounds of copper and 43 pounds of lead were released by Elreha Printed Circuits. Also in 2004, West Pharmaceutical Services released 29,710 pounds of zinc compounds (USEPA 2004). This site is still waiti ng to be cleaned. Hillsborough County also has a history of contaminated sites. Honeywell International had a major spill in 1982 and has not taken measures to clean the site. The company is resisting DEP orders to unde rtake remediation measures (Salinero 2005). Although Honeywell has not disclosed what chem icals were spilled, circuit boards, which are produced with compounds such as pol ybrominated diphenyl ethers (possible endocrine disrupter), ferric chloride (corro sive, irritant and mu tagen), and numerous acids, were produced at the si te. Another example of industr ial pollution is the Helena Chemical CompanyÂ’s contamination of soil an d groundwater with wettable dusting sulfur and formulated pesticides, herbic ides, fungicides, and fertilizer s. This site is adjacent to
86 another spill, the Alaric Ar ea Groundwater Plume Site, whic h is commingling with the Helena pollution plume (USEPA 2005). To date the EPA has classified four brownfields in the county. Pasco County has two superfund sites which released 2,643 pounds of nickel compounds onto the ground (Scorecard 2005b) In addition, in 2004, the county had 13,869 pounds of contaminated soil removed afte r a toxic release at an aircraft part manufacturer in New Port Richey (USEPA 2004). Similarly, two Hernando County sites are a source of groundwater contamination: Sp arton Electronics Flor ida Incorporated and Sun Fiberglass Products Incorporated. Sparton Electronics Florida, Inc. released 5,808 pounds of lead compounds and sulfuric acid onto county land in 2004, while Sun Fiberglass Products, Inc. released 1,297 pounds of styrene the same year (USEPA 2004). To date, the EPA has recognized ze ro brownfields in Hernando County. Hydrology Â– Spring Water Quality The improper disposal of effluent onto pastures, excessive use of nitrogen and phosphate fertilizers, and leaking septic tanks each impact spring water quality by elevating concentrations of harmful chemical s. These chemicals may then generate the occurrence of algal blooms in surface wate rs. However, measuri ng the occurrence of algal blooms is imprecise and misses aspects of water pollution. Theref ore, this indicator was substituted for the following indicator, ev aluated through the determination of the severity and longevity of harmful chemical constituents in surface waters fed by karst aquifers (van Beynen et al. 2007).
87 Harmful Chemical Constituents in Springs Â– Elevated levels of harmful chemicals in the outflows of karst areas, namely springs, is a measure of the human impact on karst water quality. Nonetheless, many of FloridaÂ’s springs are not well monitored or documented. Consequently, there is no way to know the affect of drought, pollution, or development on these springs (Greene 2001). However, meso-s cale events have impacted large portions of the TBMA. For instance, nitrates and phosphates are problematic in inducing environmental eutrophi cation in the TBMA. An example of this is that the seagrass population dropped dramatically in Ta mpa Bay due in part to increased nitrogen loading (Lewis et al. 1985). Evidence for thes e increased nitrate loads are also shown in spring data obtained from The Hydrology and Water Quality of Select Springs in the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD 2001). While nitrate levels should be less than 0.01 mg/l, 64 percent of the DistrictÂ’s sp rings have nitrate concentrations greater than 1.00 mg/l, leading to more frequent occurrences of Lyngbya Spring water data for each TBMA county follows. Several springs are located within northern Pinellas County, yet very little is known about these springs. Moreover, the health of several of the CountyÂ’s springs is not monitored and therefore could be included in this study. For example, while Crystal Beach Spring is well known amongst the CountyÂ’s diving community, the spring is located offshore and has no associated run. The health of the spring is not monitored. Divers, however, have unofficially reported the presence of fungi along the springÂ’s passages (Florida Geological Survey 2004). Despite the lack of scientific data co ncerning most Pinellas County springs, the county is home to two well-researched springs: Wall Spring and Phillippi Spring.
88 These are the only springs listed in the Fl orida Springs Database for this county. A cabana-style bathhouse at Wall Spring once attrac ted tourists. However, the spring is now a holding pond for 1.1 billion gallons of effl uent. Consequently, nitrogen pollution resulted in the closing of the spring to th e public (Call and Stephenson 2003). Phillippi Spring no longer flows as a result of vandals closing the spring opening with rocks. In 2001, all springs in Hillsborough County had more than 3.0 mg/l of nitrate, with Bell Creek Spring having more than 10 mg/l. Total phosphorous levels ranged from 0.01-0.05 mg/l throughout the county (SWFWMD 2001). The report stated that Sulphur Springs had a nitrate level of 0.89 mg/l and a phosphorus level of 0.11 mg/l. In addition, Lettuce Lake Spring, mostly covered by algae blooms, had a nitrate level of 3.05 mg/l and a phosphorus level of 0.06 mg/l. Crystal Springs, which is a complex of si x springs and three swamp springs, is the only major spring found in Pasco County, al though several unnamed, lower magnitude springs do exist (Johnson 2006). Horseshoe a nd Salt Springs are also located in the county. Horseshoe Spring and Salt Springs are at the edge of a tidal marsh. These springs have no utilization, so water qu ality data is not kept up-to -date. Crystal Spring run was once a private recreation area having a nitrat e level of 1.3 mg/l, 1.29mg/l over the natural limit (SWFWMD 2001). The spring is being rest ored (Florida Geological Survey 2004). Several springs are lo cated within Hernando County, including Aripeka Springs, Beauford Spring, Betty Jay Spring, Boat Spring, Bobhill Spring, Mud Spring, Rita Marie Springs, Ryles Spring, Blue Run Spring, and Jenkins Creek Spring (Johnson 2006). While little scientific data concerning most of these Hernando CountyÂ’s springs exists, the county is home to five well-researched springs: Gator Spring, Little Spring, Magnolia
89 Spring, Salt Spring, and Weeki Wachee Spring (Florida Geological Survey 2004). Gator Spring is a 4th order magnitude spring located one mile west of Aripeka Spring. The spring is located on private property. While nitr ate levels should be less than 0.01 mg/l, in 2003, the spring had a nitrate concentrati on of 0.49 mg/l. Simila rly, although Little Spring is an undeveloped spring surrounde d by SWFWMD property, it had a nitrate concentration of 0.71 mg/l in 2003 (Florida Ge ological Survey 2004). Magnolia Spring had a nitrate concentration of 0.54 mg/l. Hern ando Salt Spring had 0.38 mg/l of nitrates, while Weeki Wachee Spring, a highly deve loped tourist attraction, had a nitrate concentration of 0.66 mg/l in 2001. Lastl y, Blind Spring reportedly has large concentrations of algae growth along the base of the spring, although specific water quality data for this spring is unavailable. Insignificant amounts of phosphate were found at each spring (Florida Geological Survey 2004). Hydrology Â– Water Quantity Over-pumping an aquifer is a macro-scale disturbance, which can lead to a lower water table, reduced spring and stream fl ow, and saltwater intr usion (SWFWMD 1993). Although, natural variation in the water tabl e due to seasonal preci pitation changes or drought (Heath and Smith 1954; Stewart 1968), th ese natural variations were disregarded when assessing this indicat or to better reflect huma n-induced disturbance. Changes in Water Table Â– Although the pumpage of groundw ater began in the 1920s in St. Petersburg, potentiometric levels of th e Upper Floridan aquifer underlying Pinellas County didnÂ’t start to significantly dec line until the 1930s (S tewart 1968). As the population of Pinellas County grew, municipa lities required the ex traction of larger
90 quantities of drinking water to sustain the populace. By 1966, an estimated 44.2 million gallons of groundwater were extracted each day in northwest Hillsborough, northeast Pinellas, and southwest Pasco Counties. Ninety -seven percent of this water was extracted for municipal use (Stewart 1968). From 1960 to 1989, the Upper Floridan aquifer potentiometric surface dropped 6.1 to 9.1 meters due to groundwater withdrawals (SWFWMD, 1993); however, Pinellas CountyÂ’s groundwater was already experiencing saltwater intrusion as early as the 1950s (Stewart 1968). The first significant withdrawal of gr oundwater in Hillsborough County started in September of 1930. As of November 16, 2005, wate r levels had decreased an average of 0.25 meters in Hillsborough County in the month of October alone, despite the county having record amounts of rainfall duri ng the same month (SWFWMD 2005). The Floridian Aquifer underneath Hillsborough County has declined three to six meters since the 1930s and in some areas as much as thirteen meters (SWFWMD 2005, 2001, 1993). On top of the domestic use of groundwater supplies, the agricultural farms that cover Pasco County use groundwater for irrigati on purposes. Potentiometric levels of the Upper Floridan aquifer in Pasco County be gan declining in the 1940s (Stewart 1968). From 1960 to 1989, the Upper Floridan aqui fer potentiometric surface dropped 10 to 20 feet due to groundwater withdrawals in the west-central portions of Pasco County alone (SWFWMD 1993). In April 2004, 28 percent of the freshwater wells monitored by SWFWMD in Pasco County experienced saltwater intrusion (SWFWMD 2005). Additionally, SWFWMD reported that 62 percent of the wells monitored in the county had up to a 25 percent increase in chloride concentrations.
91 Potentiometric levels of the Upper Fl oridan aquifer in southern portions of Hernando County began declining in the 1940s From the 1960 to 1989, Upper Floridan aquifer potentiometric surface dropped 10 feet due to groundwater withdrawals in the southwest portions of Hernando Count y (SWFWMD 1993). A 1987 SWFWMD report demonstrated that water extraction in Hern ando County for public use increased from one million gallons per day in 1977, to more than seven million gallons a day by 1985 (SWFWMD 1987). Chloride concentrations began increasing along Hernando CountyÂ’s coast during this same time period (Fretw ell 1985). In April 2004, 25 percent of the freshwater wells monitored by SWFWMD in Hernando County had saltwater intrusion (SWFWMD 2005). Of these, chloride concentrat ions increased 0 to 25 percent in eight percent of the wells, 26 to 50 percent in 13 pe rcent of the wells, and 51 to 100 percent in four percent of the wells (SWFWMD 2005). In October 2005, 82 percent of the wells monitored by SWFWMD in the TBMA had lo wer water levels than in October 2004 by an average of 1.54 meters (SWFWMD 2005). Changes in Cave Drip Waters Â– Pinellas, Hillsborough, an d Pasco Counties contain no vadose caves. Thus, a disturbance score for th ese counties was discarded from this study. However, a score for this disturbance wa s determined for Hernando County through communication with experienced Hernando C ounty cavers. The score was based upon the degree of change in the amount of water r eaching the CountyÂ’s caves from the overlying bedrock. Reportedly, Hernando CountyÂ’s cave sy stems have not experienced significant changes in the amount of cave drip waters (Turner, personal communication, 2007).
92 In fact, the greatest majority of the CountyÂ’ s caves do not even contain formations, which could reflect these changes. Biota Â– Vegetation Disturbance For the purposes of this study, deforestati on refers to the removal of substantive forest growth that would lead to karst im pacts. Vegetation disturbance, resulting from urban growth, clear cutting for agriculture, logging, or fire, can adversely affect karst terrains through the increase in soil erosion and the degrad ation of groundwater supplies (Harding and Ford 1993; van Beynen and Townsend 2005). Moreover, vegetation is important for the karstification process. The d ecay of vegetal litter helps build soil, which provides carbonic acid for the dissolution of limestone (van Beynen and Townsend 2005). For these reasons, an understanding of the degree to which deforestation has occurred in each of the coun ties comprising the TBMA is e ssential in understanding the overall health of the regionÂ’s karst environment. Vegetation Removal Â– This indicator was based on the to tal percentage of deforestation, or the total percentage of s ubstantive vegetation removal th at could adversely impact a karst system. The percentage of deforestati on in each county was calculated using data collected from the SWFWMD GIS Database. Di viding the total hectares of forested land remaining in Pinellas County ( Figure 17 ), 3,411, by the CountyÂ’s tota l hectares of land, 68,375, indicates that 95 percent of Pinellas CountyÂ’s forest ed lands are destroyed. This analysis suggests that vegetation removal is a severe karst disturbance in Pinellas County. Of the 192,900 hectares of total land area in Pasco County, 128,437 hectares are still in their natural vegetative state. Dividing the to tal hectares of forested land remaining in
93 Pasco County, by the CountyÂ’s total hectares of land, indicates that 33.4 percent of Pasco CountyÂ’s forested lands are destroyed. Figure 18 shows the remaining forests. Figure 17 Forest Cover in Pinellas County, Florida.
94 Figure 18 Forested Land in Pasco County, Florida. Dividing the total number of forested lands in Hillsborough County, 17 km2, by the total land area in the county, 339 km2, indicates that 95% of the CountyÂ’s forested lands are destroyed. These numbers were also determined from GIS data collected from the Hillsborough County Government. Figure 13 illustrates the remaining forest cover in the county. Lastly, dividing the total number of forested lands, 828 km2, by the total land area in Hernando County, 1,259 km2, indicates that 34.2 percent of the CountyÂ’s forested lands are destroyed. This lower percentage is due in part to the presence of the Withlacoochee State Forest (159 km2) and the CountyÂ’s distance from Tampa. Figure 19 illustrates all of the remaining forest cover in the county.
95 Figure 19 Forested Land in Hernando County, Florida. Biota Â– Subsurface Cave Biota Unlike Pinellas, Hillsborough, and Pasco Counties, the Species Richness and Species Population Density of subsurface cave biota indicators are applicable in Hernando County. However, even though all Hernando County caves are not submerged, data concerning subsurface cave species is significantly lack ing. Therefore the Species Richness and Species Population Density indicators under the Â“S ubsurface Cave BiotaÂ” attribute were each assigned a Lack of Data (LD). These two LD ratings are reflected in this studyÂ’s confidence level.
96 Biota Â– Subsurface Groundwater Biota Subsurface biota can indicator the overal l health of karst system due to their heightened sensitivity to change. Species ric hness is the number of species within a given community, while population density is the meas ure of the number of individuals within each species (Wikipedia 2006). Data concer ning species richness and species population density of groundwater dwelling species is lacking in all four TBMA counties. Unfortunately, the collection of this data re quires the monitoring of species for several consecutive years, an undert aking that is beyond the scope of this study. Nonetheless, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco, and Hernando C ounties have subsurface groundwater biota that may be disturbed due to human activities, making the Species Richness and Species Population Density indicators applicable to this study. Therefore, both of these indicators were assigned a Lack of Data (LD) in all four TBMA counties. Cultural Â– Human Artifacts Human artifacts found in karst environments are typically produ ced with or on the limestone that typifies kars t terrains, highlighting the im portance of understanding the degree of human-induced disturbance to these artifacts. The scoring for this indicator, which occurs at all scales, is based upon the pe rcentage of historic artifacts removed from the karst terrain. Destruction or Removal of Historic Artifacts Â– The removal and destruction of the artifacts from karst terrains determined the scoring for this indicator. The database for historical artifacts, on The Fl orida Division of Historical Re sources Florida Master Site File (Florida Department of State 2005), wa s utilized to determine areas throughout each
97 county where artifacts were discovered. Although unflooded caves are not found in Pinellas, Hillsborough, and Pasco Counties, su rface sites are still common archaeological sites. Artifacts found in both surface sites and caves were analyzed in Hernando County. Thus far 420 archaeological sites are uncovered in Pi nellas County: 15 middens, 74 mounds, 54 settlements, 16 burial sites, 30 camping sites, and several other miscellaneous archaeological remains. The site file did not indicate if any of the sites were protected, nor did it describe what ha ppened to the artifacts after their discovery (Florida Department of State 2005). However, several of these Pinellas County sites can be visited by the public. These include A rrowhead Middens, Tierra Verde Burial Mound, Canton Street Midden, JohnÂ’s Pass Burial Mound, Weedon Island Mounds, Safety Harbor Mounds, Philippe Park Temple Mound and Middens, and Four Mile Bayou Village, amongst others. In Hillsborough County, 355 archaeologi cal sites (de Montmollin 1983) are uncovered: 38 middens, 58 mounds, 38 settlements, 2 burial sites, and 1 fishing site. As aforementioned, the Florida Master Site File did not indicate if any of the sites were protected (Florida Department of State 2005) However, Deming (1980) stated 40 percent of these sites are destroyed, a number deemed very low by Dr. Weisman, an University of South Florida anthropologist who conducts research in th e county (Weisman, personal communication, 2006). In Pasco County, 975 archaeological s ites are uncovered including 26 middens, 11 mounds, 115 low-density scattered artifact settlements, 230 miscellaneous terrestrial land artifact sties, 7 prehisto ric habitats, 239 camping sites, and 109 quarries or lithic scatter. Lastly, 357 archaeological sites ar e uncovered in Hernando County: 15 middens,
98 5 mounds, 22 low-density scattered artif act settlements, 4 burial mounds, 67 miscellaneous terrestrial land artifact sties, 27 prehistoric habitats and buildings, 65 camping sites, and 49 quarries or lithic scatter. Again, no information concerning the protection of these sites was availabl e (Florida Department of State 2005). Dr. Brent Weisman of the University of South Florida Anthropology Department suggests that sites situated on developments described as having regional significance, more than twenty hectares, are not be prot ected. Large burial mounds are an exception. For an archaeological site to be protected fr om development it must meet the eligibility requirements for listing in the National Registry of Historic Places or be located within a state or county park (Weisman, personal co mmunication, 2006). Dr. Weisman admits that most of the artifact sites in the TBMA would meet the requirements of the National Registry of Historic Places but urban development and major roadways destroyed them. For example, no archaeological sites in Hillsborough County have been thorough this long, rigorous process. The most significant si te in the county was a large settlementburial mound complex in downtown Tampa, though very little remains of the site due to commercial development. This situation exists at most Pinellas County sites as well. Overall, little remains of many archaeologi cal sites in the TBMA (Weisman, personal communication, 2006), although Hernando Count y is not experiencing the rapid urbanization seen in the other TBMA counties. Cultural Â– Stewardship of Karst Region As stated in the van Beynen and Town send (2005), Â“the degree of recognition and protection of human and environmental value of karst regions is a measure of human
99 stewardshipÂ” (van Beynen and Townsend 2005, p. 112). Therefore, the following indicators are not only concentr ated on the existing regulations and their enforcement, but also the initiatives taken by the counties co mprising the TBMA to educate the public on the importance of karst terrains, the sensitivit y of karst to human act ions, and the steps a person can take to minimize their impact on kars t. This stewardship oc curs at all scales. Regulatory Protection Â– This indicator incorporates laws which prohibit or limit the amount of disturbance to a kars t area and laws which regulate aspects of karst features (van Beynen and Townsend 2005). Several Flor ida Administrative codes directly or indirectly protect karst systems. For inst ance, Florida administrative code, Chapter 62522.300(3), Â“prohibits any discharge through sinkhol es that will have direct contact with class G-I groundwater (dissolv ed solids of < 3,000 mg/L), F-I groundwater (dissolved solids of < 3,000 mg/l that was specifically reclassified as F-I), or G-II groundwater (dissolved solids of < 10,000 mg/l).Â” Ch apter 62-610.523(9) prohibits the direct movement of reclaimed water to underlying aqui fers unless total nitrogen is less than 10 mg/l, suspended solids is less than 5mg/l, and the water r eceived no less than secondary treatment and high-level disinfection (F lorida Administrative Code, 62-610.523(9)). Under Florida Statute 810.13 vandalizing, de facing, or removing, any cave, cave life, sinkhole, speleogen, or speleothem on public or private property without the written permission of the owner is a misdemeanor cr ime (Florida Statute 810.13). This law also prohibits the sale of speleothems or storage of any material hazar dous to the Â“waters of the stateÂ” within a cave. Under the Federal Cave Resources Protection Act of 1988, caves and cave resources on federal lands are protected as an Â“invaluable a nd irreplaceable part
100 of the NationÂ’s natural heri tageÂ” (United States 1988), however Pinellas, Pasco, and Hillsborough Counties do not have any caves on federal lands that receive this statutory protection. Additional national pol icies that indirectly protect karst areas include the Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, Cave Resources Protection Act, and the Federal Insecticide, and Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (LaMoreaux et al. 1997). The DEP requires the completion of a ka rst risk analysis when planning the collection or channelization of storm water, reclaimed water, or e ffluent that may be introduced to karst systems (van Beynen et al 2007). If the reports, which are similar to an environmental impact statement, conclude that the karst system may incur damage, the planned construction is ceased. The Florida Legislature established the Florida Forever Program in 1999 to restore environmental systems, including FloridaÂ’s springs, and increase the amount of prot ection through the acquisition of conservation areas (FDEP, undated). Ideally, by setting aside more areas for recreational parks, karst environments would benefit. However, in Florida the sele ction of land for conservation is based upon nomination and population demands, not on any e nvironmental criteria. Nevertheless, the mission of the Hillsborough County Department of Parks is to provide recreation and preservation of resources (Hillsborough County Parks Department). In 1995, the FDEP implemented the Nati onal Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, which requires a permit for the discharge of pollutants into United States waters mainly from industrial and domestic wast ewater facilities (USEPA 2003). The same policy regulates hazardous landf ill leachate that degrades groundwater quality. Although Florida has reduced the discharges to surface waters since receiving the authorization by 32 percent (USEPA 2003), allo wable discharges are still disturbing karst systems.
101 Although landfill regulations can be considered indirect protection for karst areas since the landfill material can po llute groundwater, the inte nse monitoring of abandoned landfills is lacking. For instan ce, there are 162 abandoned landfills that are not monitored by the state in Hillsborough County alone, because Chapter 403.0885 of the Florida Statute (2001), which promotes the establ ishment and authorization of the NPDES program, was passed after the abandonment of these sites. However, Hillsborough County does monitor groundwater for sixteen landfills, while the City of Tampa is responsible for monitoring 49 la ndfills. Ninety seven landfil ls are not considered the responsibility of the City of Tampa or Hillsborough County (Cope, personal communication, 2005). In addition to the aforementioned regu lations at the federal and state level protecting the karst terrain of the TBMA, each county maintains county level regulations. For instance, the Pinellas County Wellhead Protection Ordinance Â“protects and safeguards the health, safety, and welfare of the residents and visitors of the county by providing criteria for regulati ng and prohibiting the use, ha ndling, production, disposal, and storage of certain regulat ed substances which may impa ir present and future public potable water supply wells and wellfiel dsÂ” (Pinellas County Wellhead Protection Ordinance 1990, p. 4). Pasco County instituted the Groundwater Protection Ordinance to protect the CountyÂ’s groundwat er supplies. The ordinance regulates the handling, production, disposal, and storage of mate rials hazardous to groundwater supplies (Metcalf and Eddy 2001). Hernando County exemplifies more karst stewardship than any of the remaining counties comprising the TBMA. The CountyÂ’s g overnment closely monitors all activities
102 undertaken within the county, pr ovides the public with karst related data on their website, and continually creates karst related regula tions. The GIS department is the leading source of data in the county, providing info rmation on sensitive karst areas within the county by incorporating recharge locations with the locations of golf courses, roads, agricultural fields, and other miscellane ous business using products which could deteriorate groundwater quality. The department also maintains multiple GIS shapefiles pertaining to land use and geologic information on the CountyÂ’s underlying karst, incorporating data from multiple sources including the SWFWMD, FDEP, insurance companies, and the EPA (Sutherl and, personal communication, 2007). Hernando County implemented a Landscap ing Ordinance in 2001. This ordinance states that it shall be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to clear, redevelop, or begin to develop any land unl ess in compliance with the te rms of the ordinance. These terms describe the required number of trees per acre (15), the number of trees that shall be shade trees, required percentage of preserved natural vegetation (3), required vegetative buffers in feet (5), prohibition of non-native Florida plants, and ground cover requirements (Landscaping Ordinance 2001). The county also maintains ordinances which regulate watering operations and solid waste disposal (Her nando County Utilities Department, undated). Hernando County strong ly regulates stormwater runoff, litter, chemical, and organic pollution, through part nership with the EP A and the Hernando County Stormwater Program (Hernando C ounty Department of Public Works Department 2003). Finally, the Hernando County Groundwater Protection and Siting Ordinance protects Â“the quality of groundw ater in Hernando Count y by providing criteria for land uses and the siting of facilities which use, handle, produce, store or dispose of
103 regulated substances; and by pr oviding protection to features which discharge directly to the Floridan aquiferÂ” (Groundwater Pr otection and Siting Ordinance 1994, p.2). On the whole, the regulations protecting Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco, and Hernando Counties, whether they are maintained at the federal, stat e, or county level, only indirectly regulate karst environments. Moreover, these regulations are not ironclad, with loopholes that allow their circumvention. Thus, despite the pres ence of policies, the lack of direct karst protecti on resulted in a disturbance sc ore of one for this indicator. Enforcement of Regulations Â– This indicator evaluates th e occurrence of regulatory enforcement to determine whether each Count yÂ’s karst is being protected through the enforcement of the previously menti oned regulations. A 2004 FDEP report on the statistics of statewide civil and criminal enforcement of environmental laws, revealed a 35 percent increase in regulatory enforcemen t throughout Florida and a ten million dollar increase in fines from 2000 to 2004 (FDE P 2004b). Moreover, in comparison to the previous years, over a thousand more consent orders, an agreement between the violator and the FDEP, were issued statewide during this time period. To determine if an increase in regulation enforcement has occurred in each TBMA county specifically, consent order issued from 1986 to 2005 in each county was collected from the FDEP. In Pinellas County, a clear increase in the number of i ssued consent orders can be noted, eleven consent orders were issued in 1986 compared to 62 consent orders in 2005 ( Figure 20 ). Comparing the number of consent or ders issued from 1986 to 1996 to the number of consent order issued from 1997 to 2005, reveals that the earlier period had an annual average of 21.9 consent orders while the later period had a 39.9 annual average, a
104 Consent Orders for Pinellas County 1986-20050 10 20 30 40 50 60 701986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005Time (Yrs)COs 45 percent increase in enforcement. Similarl y, an average of 23.21 consent orders were issued from 1986 to 1999, while 45.83 consent or ders were issued from 2000 to 2005, the time period discussed in the FDEP publica tion. This is a 50 percent increase in enforcement. Thus, since enforcement of re gulations has increased in Pinellas County since 2000 and as many as sixty consent or ders were issued in a single year. Figure 20 Consent Orders Issued in Pinellas County, FL (1986-2005). In Hillsborough County, the collected consen t order data indicates an increase in the number of consent orders issued from 2000 to 2004 ( Figure 21 ); however, the low number of consent orders issued from 1986 to 1999 could simply indicate that either fewer violations occurred in the county or that enforcement was not as strict. Comparing the increase in enforcement from 1986 to 1996 with the period from 1997 to 2005, the earlier period had an annual average of 21.9 consent orders, whereas the period from 1997 to 2005 had an annual average of 22.2 c onsent orders, a 2 percent increase in enforcement. An annual average of 20.9 c onsent orders were issued from 1996 to 1999,
105 Consent Orders Issued in Hillsborough County, Florida (1986-2005)0 5 10 15 20 25 301986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005Time (Yrs)Consent Orders while an average 24.4 consent orders were issued annually from 2000 to 2004; this is only a 14 percent increase in enforcement. Overall, there was not an increase in enforcement as claimed in previously menti oned FDEP report on the agencyÂ’s statistics and no year had higher than th irty issued consent orders. Figure 21 Consent Orders Issued in H illsborough County, FL (1986-2005). No clear increase in issued consent orde rs occurred in Pasco County from 1986 to 2005; in fact, there was a decrease in i ssued consent order during this time ( Figure 22 ). From 1986 to 1996 the average number of issued consent orders was 12.36, while 1997 to 2005 had an average of 10.54 consent orders Similarly, when comparing consent order data from 1986 to 2000 to data from 2000 to 2005, a decline in enforcement was deduced. From 1986 to 2000 the annual average of issued consent orders was 12.7, while 2000 to 2005 had an annual average of 12.1 c onsent orders. Moreover, the number of consent orders issued in a single year only fluctuates fr om six to eighteen over the nineteen year span.
106 Consent Orders Issued in Hernando County, FL (1986-2005)0 2 4 6 8 10 12 141986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005Time (Yrs)Consent Orders Figure 22 Consent Orders Issued in Pasco County, FL (1986-2005). In comparison to the years prior to 2000, a 45 percent increase in issued consent orders occurred in Hernando County from 2000-2005 ( Figure 23 ). From 1986-1999 the average number of issued consent orders was 4.2, while 2000-2005 ha d an average of 7.2 consent orders. However, the number of consent orders issued in the county only fluctuates from zero to twelve over the nine teen year span, indicating that either few violations occur in Hernando County or that enforcement of regulations is not strong. Figure 23. Consent Orders Issued in Hernando County, FL (1986-2005). Consent Orders for Pasco County 1986-20050 5 10 15 201986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005Time (Yrs)COs
107 Public Education Â– Public awareness of karst sensit ivity and protecti on practices are necessary to minimize karst disturbance. Theref ore, this indicator analyzes the roles of governmental and non-governmental programs that directly or indirectly protect karst environments (van Beynen and Townsend 2005). Collaboration between the University of South Florida and SWFWMD produced The Linked Resources for Community Education in Hydrogeology This project teaches residents about sinkholes, the hydrologic system, stormwater runoff, and Florida-friendly ve getation (SWFWMD, undated). SWFWMD also created The Ne ighborhood Environmental Action Team to report environmental violati ons and collect non-hazardous ma terials for proper disposal. The University of Flor idaÂ’s IFAS produced the Florida Solid and Hazardous Waste Regulation Handbook This handbook outlines the proper storage and disposal methods for oil, tires, batteries, and pesticides (O lexa et al. 2003). The Karst Research Group at the University of South Florida is also activ e in the TBMA (Karst Research Group 2005). Entertainment-based programs are also responsible for educat ing the public on the importance of protecting karst environmen ts. WUSF-TV and PBS repeatedly airs WaterÂ’s Journey: the Hidden Rivers of Florida a SWFWMD documentary focusing on the local aquifer (Karst Productions Inc. 2004). The C ity of Tampa Water Department runs water conservation programs for K-12 grade TBMA st udents. The city also funds CTTV Water Conservation Plays, which educates child ren on the importance of water conservation (City of Tampa 2005). The FDEP website promot es an educational program for third to fifth graders to develop a model of how po llutants can alter water quality (FDEP 2005). Lastly, the Hydrogeology sect ion of the FDEP produced an interactive video on humaninduced threats to FloridaÂ’s springs and aquifer (FDEP 2005).
108 Each county also operate several programs designed to protect various aspects of the local karst environment. The Environmen tal Management section of the Pinellas County Government runs the Pollution Prev ention and Resource Recovery program to assist citizens with th e reduction of their us e of hazardous and toxi c materials (Pinellas County Government, undated (b)). The City of St. Petersburg produces Mr. Sparkle and the Recyclables a handbook listing recyclable items and the proper steps to creating a home recycling center (St. Petersburg Gove rnment, undated). On the Pinellas County Government website, parents can download the Hydroblast Coloring Book Recycling Activity Book Lewey the Lizard Presents the Wet Gazette and M. Phibian FrogÂ’s Stormwater Pollution Coloring Book and Puzzles These activity books are designed to teach children about reclaimed water, recy cling, water conservation, and stormwater pollution (Pinellas County Government, undated (c)). In Hillsborough County, the City of Ta mpa Solid Waste Department is very active in its public education efforts, producing brochures listing hazardous waste materials and disposal methods (City of Ta mpa 2005). The Special Projects Department of the Pasco County Government maintains several environmental and hazardous waste programs such as the Anti-Freeze Recycling, Paint Recycling, and Used Motor Oil Recycling programs. These programs are all aimed at protecting hum an health and the environment (Pasco County Government, unda ted (a)). The government also leads the Purple Rain Education Program designed to educate the public on the benefits, use, and availability of reclaimed water (Pasco C ounty Cooperative Extension Service, undated). Lastly, educational games, such as the Water Busters Conservation Game are available on the Pasco County Government website (P asco County Government, undated (b)).
109 The Hernando County Government also promotes several public education programs. The Hernando County Department of Public Works website contains numerous brochures concerned with educati ng the public on the impor tance of preventing stormwater pollution, watersheds, the dangers of herbicides and pesticides, and how to become a part of the Â“pollution solutionÂ” (Hernando County Public Works Department, undated). Similarly, the CountyÂ’s Solid Waste and Recycling Divisi on website contains public guidebooks on recycling, household haza rdous wastes, and pollution prevention. This department also holds Household H azardous Waste Collection Days, which allow Hernando County citizens to dispose of hous ehold hazardous waste for free (Hernando County Utilities Department, undated). The Ci tizens for Water Committee, a branch of the Hernando County Utilities Department, consists of three working committees designated to inform the public on the need to conserve and protect precious water resources. The committee continually hands out brochures, sends questionnaires in customer bills, attends public venues, holds public meetings, and broadcasts information on local cable channels. Their website also contains a Â“calculate your water usage gameÂ” (Citizens for Water, undated). Sadly, other than the karst documentary WaterÂ’s Journey: The Hidden RiverÂ’s of Florida (Karst Productions Inc. 2004) and the Florida DEPÂ’s interactive video on human threats to FloridaÂ’s spri ngs (Florida DEP 2005), entertainment-based educational programs are unavailable in Hernando County. Although varying agencies attempt to educate the public on environmental hazards, these educational programs are not strongly promoted. Moreover, the information within educational publications largely reaches citizens who actively seek it
110 or who are already aware of the importance of environmental protection. Consequently, this indicator was assigned a disturba nce score of one in each TBMA county. Cultural Â– Building Infrastructure Urbanization results in th e building of houses, malls industrial parks, and apartment complexes. During this process, sinkholes are infilled, negatively impacting karst features. The building of roads over ka rst areas can also compact soil, increase surface flooding, and lower aquifer recharge rates (van Beynen and Townsend 2005). Large highways, which cover the largest area and contribute the largest quantity of contaminated stormwater runoff to groundwater induce the highest le vel of disturbance to karst terrains. The indicators that follow evaluate these human-induced disturbances by estimating the current degree of urbanization in each TBMA county. Building of Roads Â– In Pinellas County there are two interstate highways and 31 major roads with at least six lanes divided by a me dian (Pinellas County Metropolitan Planning Organization 2005). Figure 24 shows Pinellas CountyÂ’s interstate highways and major roads. Figure 25 shows the major roads and highways in Hillsborough County. There are three interstate highways and 34 major roads w ith eight lanes divide d by a median in the county (Hillsborough County Tran sportation Division 2005). Pasco and Hernando Counties do not have as many major roads as the remaining counties comprising the TBMA. In fact, Pasc o County only has one interstate highway and seven major roads with at least six lanes divided by a median (Pasco County Metropolitan Planni ng Organization 2004). Figure 26 shows the location of these roads. There are two interstate highw ays, I-75 and the Suncoast Parkway, and four major roads
111 with at least six lanes di vided by a median in Hernando County (Diez, personal communication, 2007). Figure 27 shows the locations of Hernando CountyÂ’s major roads and highways. Overall, although these countie s do not contain as many major roads and highways as the remainder of the counties comprising the TBMA, major highways are in existence within the each county, leading to a disturbance score of three. Figure 24 Major highways in Pinellas County, Florida.
112 Figure 25 Major Roads in Hillsborough County, Florida.
113 Figure 26 Major Roads and Highways in Pasco County, Florida Figure 27 Major Roads and Highways in Hernando County, Florida. (Hernando County Government Planning Department Website, taken on 3/07/2007).
114 Construction within Caves Â– All known caves in Pinellas, Hillsborough, and Pasco Counties are submerged, making constructi on impossible. Thus, despite some caves containing a few non-obstructive underwater marker s that are utilized by cave divers, this indicator was removed for this study when analyzing these three counties. Even though all known caves in Hernando County are not submerged, construction within the CountyÂ’s caves has not occurred. Howeve r, Hernando CountyÂ’s caves are gated. Therefore, a disturbance score of one was assigned to this indicator. Building over Karst Features Â– At the beginning of th e twenty-first century, approximately 921,482 permanent residents lived in Pinellas County. The population rose to 928,032 by 2005 (United States Census Bu reau 2006). Moreover, the population density of Pinellas County ranks 30th amongst all counties in the United States (KnowledgePlex 2007). The largest percentage of the CountyÂ’s land is devoted to low density housing, while low buildings dominate urbanized centers. According to the Pinellas County Planning Department (2003), Pinellas County will be the first county in Florida to achieve buildout. In 2002, Hillsborough County had a populat ion density of over 405 people per square kilometer (US Census 2005a). In 2003, approximately 45 percent of the CountyÂ’s 2,729 km2 of land was urban. Moreover, the county experienced a 5.9 percent increase in home construction between 2000 and 2002 alon e (Floyd 2003). In fact, about 9,100 new homes were built between 2000 and 2004 (US Census 2005b). In 2005, a total of 1.1 million people were permanent residents in the county. Figure 13 shows the CountyÂ’s current urban areas.
115 In 2005, there were 429,000 permanent resi dents in Pasco County; this is a 25 percent increase from 2000 (US Census Bur eau 2005c). The largest percentage of the CountyÂ’s land is devoted to agriculture, leavi ng approximately fifty pe rcent of areaÂ’s land unurbanized. The population density of Pasco County is 500 people per square kilometer (West Pasco Chamber of Commerce 2006). Hernando County is not curre ntly undergoing the rapid growth and urban sprawl seen in the remainder of the counties co mprising the TBMA; in fact, the CountyÂ’s estimated annual growth rate in recent years is only fi ve percent (Hernando County Government 2006). During the 1980s the county was the third fastest growing county in the United States. By the 1990s the populati on growth rate decreased by approximately 40 percent; however, the number of new ho mes built in Hernando County during this time period ranked eighth amongst the remainder of FloridaÂ’s counties (Tampa Bay Demographics 1995). In 2005, there were 156,000 permanent residents in the county, for a population density of 106 people per squa re kilometer (Hernando County Government 2006). Figure 28 summarizes Hernando CountyÂ’s land use in 2003.
116 Figure 28 2003 Land Use in Hernando County, Florida. (Hernando County Planning Department 2003, taken on 03/15/2007)
117 Degrees of Disturbance and Levels of Confidence Table 7 summarizes the disturbance scores assi gned to each indicator and the total degree of disturbance in each county. This is followed by an explanation of the total degree of disturbance calculated for each county. Table 7 TBMA Indicator Scores. Indicator Pinellas Hillsborough Pasco Hernando Quarrying/Mining 0 2 1 2 Surface Flooding 1 1 1 1 Stormwater drainage 1 1 1 1 Infilling 3 2 2 2 Dumping 2 2 2 2 Erosion 1 1 1 1 Soil Compaction 3 3 2 2 Decoration Removal 2 Mineral Removal 1 Floor Compaction 1 Desiccation 1 Condensation corrosion 1 Pesticides and herbicides 2 2 2 2 Industrial/petroleum Spills 1 1 1 0 Chemical constituents in springs 2 2 2 2 Changes in water table 3 2 2 2 Changes in cave drip waters 1 Vegetation removal 3 3 1 2 Species richness LD Population density LD Species richness LD LD LD LD Population density LD LD LD LD Destruction of histori cal artifact 3 3 2 2 Regulatory protection 1 1 1 1 Enforcement of regulations 0 1 1 1 Public Education 1 1 1 1 Building of roads 3 3 3 3 Building over karst features 3 3 3 2 Construction in caves 1 Total Indicator Score (A) 33 34 29 37 Total Possible Score (B) 54 54 54 75 Level of Disturbance (A/B) 0.61 0.63 0.54 0.49
118 Degree of Disturbance: Pi nellas County, Florida A total indicator score of 33 out of a possible 54 was calculated for Pinellas County, resulting in a total karst disturban ce score of 0.61. This value equates to a highly disturbed karst area (van Beynen and Townsend 2005) Two indicators received a Â“Lack of DataÂ” designation: Species richness and Population density under the biota category. As outlined in van Beynen and Townsend (2005), the number of Â“Lack of DataÂ” indicators divided by the total number of asse ssed indicators reflects the confidence level of the total karst disturbance score. Confidence scores less than 0.1 signify a high degree of confidence in the total dist urbance score, where as scor es greater than 0.4 suggest more research is needed before the application of the index is plausible. Only 2 out of 20 indicators evaluated in this study received a Â“Lack of DataÂ” score. Thus, the confidence level for this studyÂ’s results is 0.1, signif ying a high degree of confidence in the estimation of Pinellas CountyÂ’s level of karst disturbance. Degree of Disturbance: Hillsborough County, Florida A total score of 34 out of a possible 54 wa s calculated for applicable indicators in Hillsborough County, indicating th at the CountyÂ’s karst is highly disturbed with a total disturbance score of 0.63. It is worth noting that this score is only slightly higher than the score calculated for Pinellas County. Two indicators received a Â“Lack of DataÂ” designation: Species richness and Population density under the biota ca tegory leading to a confidence score of 0.1, signifying a high de gree of confidence in the estimation of Hillsborough CountyÂ’s level of karst disturbance as well.
119 Degree of Disturbance: Pasco County, Florida A total indicator score of 29 out of a possible 54 was calculated for Pasco County, resulting in a total karst disturbance score of 0.54. This value equates to a disturbed karst region (van Beynen and Townsend 2005). Five i ndicators received a lower score in Pasco County than in Pinellas County: Vegetation removal Building over karst features Changes in the water table Soil compaction the Infilling of sinkholes This led to a score 0.09 points lower than the Pinellas County di sturbance score. As with the previous counties, the Species richness and Population density indicators under the biota category were assigned a Â“Lack of Data,Â” resulting in a confidence level of 0.1 for this CountyÂ’s disturbance score. This signi fies a high degree of confidence in the estimation of Pasco CountyÂ’s level of karst disturbance. Degree of Disturbance: Hernando County, Florida A total indicator score of 37 out of a possible 75 was calculated for Hernando County, resulting in a total karst disturbance score of 0.49. Similar to Pasco County, this score equates to a disturbed karst area (van Beynen and Townsend 2005). As opposed to the previous counties, four indicators r eceived a Â“Lack of DataÂ” designation: Species richness and Population density under the subsurface cave and subsurface groundwater attributes. By dividing the total evaluate d indicators, 29, by the number of indicators receiving a Â“Lack of DataÂ” designation, four, resulted in a confidence level of 0.14. Thus, the degree of confidence in the estimati on of Hernando CountyÂ’s level of karst disturbance is high.
120 Participant Interviews As previously described, qualitative in terviews were conduc ted with eight key informants. Four informants worked at a di strict level, holding positions in resource conservation ( informant A ), development ( informant B ), planning ( informant C ) and resource conservation data development departments ( informant D ). Three informants worked at the county-level in Hillsborough and Hernando Counties Government Offices as an urban forester ( informant E ) and community planners ( informants F and G ). Informant H held a state-level position at the Flor ida Geological Survey. Recall that the informants were questioned on th e utility of the KDI in thei r jobs, suggestions for making the KDI a more practical tool to employ out side of the academic community, whether or not karst knowledge is incorporated into th eir jobs, and their opinions on the use of qualitative and quantitative data. What follo ws is an abbreviate d description of the information obtained from these informants as a collective whole. Each informant reported that they incor porate knowledge of ka rst into their work. For instance, informant A is often involved in collec ting, designing, constructing, and testing monitor wells in west-central Florida. Nearly all of these wells are drilled into Â“karstic carbonates.Â” Similarly, informant F continually collects information on groundwater recharge from sinkholes when evaluating pr oposed developments. Other informants incorporated knowledge of ka rst when analyzing spring water quality, establishing nutrient remediation plans desi gned to address the issue of increasing nitrogen levels in springs, a nd monitoring groundwater resources. Despite the incorporation of karst knowledge into every informantÂ’s work, all participants did not have formal trai ning or education in karst science. Informant C stated
121 their Â“broad, yet shallowÂ” knowledge of kars t concepts and issues was gained while working towards a degree in Natu ral Resource Economics. Likewise, informant F revealed that, despite being a professional geol ogist, they never rece ived any specialized training in karst. Informant G received training in karst through courses offered by the county government. The remaining informants each reportedly have extensive training in karst obtained through completed courses on Karst Hydrogeology in Florida at local scholastic institutions, hydrogeology field camps, or courses completed with Â“premier karst scientists working in the Western Hemisphere,Â” including William White. Informants responded differently when asked whether or not the KDI could be useful in their work. Informant A Â’s work largely deals with land parcels usually to small to evaluate using the KDI. Instead, this info rmant believes the KDI would be useful to workers in regulation departments who make decisions about granting permits for large scale land use or workers who study land parc els for purchase or protection in land resources department. Informants C F and G stated that the KDI would not be useful in their day-to-day work, but on an occasional ba sis when needing to identify areas where a rule or activity would cause potentia l improvements or harm. Lastly, i nformants B D E and H all agreed that the KDI could be useful in their jobs, but only after some slight modifications. These included incorporating mo re information on the vulnerability of the area to specific disturban ces, adding indicators concentr ated on water quality and petroleum spills, and narrowing total disturbance categories to better reflect small regional differences. When asked what information should be in corporated into the KDI to increase its usefulness, i nformants F A and C stated that they werenÂ’ t sure what should be
122 incorporated into KDI. Informant C did state that the most usef ul aspects of an index to their work would include information on spring flow, water quality, and sinkhole formation. Informant E stated that a short explanati on of the KDI explaining who should use it and why, would be invaluable when a ttempting to expand its use outside of the academic community. As an example, this info rmant stated that the KDI could be very useful to agencies such as the Department of Environmental Protec tion, but only if there is a short explanation of the use of the KDI, so agency empl oyees would not have to read the entire van Beynen and Townsend (2005) publication. Informants B and G believed that the KDI was sufficient Â“as isÂ” as an educational tool. Informant B also stated that in work at the district level, the KDI would be more useful if it was adaptable in order to address any additional concerns a region may be facing. For instance, in west-central Florida, spring flow reduction for coastal springs used by manatees, the freshwater component of discharging brackish water, a nd stormwater drainage into spring pools are major issues that could be addressed by the KDI. Informant D believes that private property rights, the number of petroleum tanks underground, paleonotological remains that are an invaluable scientific reso urce often found in caves, changing groundwater hydrology through the recontouring of land, a nd the liming of soil to improve crop production by altering pH should all be considered. Informants D and H thought the simplicity of the total disturbance scores is nice, but may be more useful if more disturbance levels were incorpor ated to better reflect subtle differences between regions. Informants A and H reported that the termi nology of the total dist urbance classifications is misleading and should be changed. This suggested change includes switching the Â“disturbedÂ” and Â“moderately disturbedÂ” cl assifications. Lastly, five informants
123 commented positively on the inclusion of Lack of Data ratings, stating that although enough data to quantify an indicator may not be available, it is still necessary to document its potential impact on karst. The remainder of the information obtained from the informants focused on the use of quantitative and qualitative data when applying the KDI. Every participant overwhelming agreed that qualitative data is invaluable when assessing human-induced disturbances, but quantitative data should be emphasized. All informants also reported very similar definitions of qualitative and quantitative data. Qualitative data was described as non-numerical data deduced from simple observations. As stated by informant D Â“qualitative data is the first step to getting an impression that will lead to causality.Â” In contrast, quantitative data was described as numerical data without subjectivity. Each informant uses both qualita tive and quantitative da ta in their work.
124 Chapter Five Discussion Human Disturbance of Karst in the TBMA The application of the KDI allowed for the identification of the most threatened components of the karst terrain in the TBMA. Overall, levels of disturbance vary between the counties due to the level of urbanization, with the high ly populated Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties having higher degrees of disturbance than less developed Pasco and Hernando Counties. This is reflected in the differing degrees of di sturbance determined for each county. The karst in Hernando County is disturbed with a disturbance score of 0.49, while Pasco County is also disturbed with a score of 0.54. Hillsborough County is highly disturbed with a total disturbance score of 0.63. Pinellas County is also highly disturbed with a total disturbance score of 0.61. While this result may seem obvious, the measure of disturbance using many indicato rs provides benchmarks of levels of disturbance that can be reassessed with time and highlights those aspects of the environment under the greatest stress and in th e most need of attention. For instance, although Pinellas County is slightly mo re urbanized than Hillsborough County, Hillsborough County surprisingly had a higher to tal disturbance score. After analyzing individual indicator scores, it was deduced that this difference in disturbance scores is due in large part to the destructive nature of mines and quarries present in Hillsborough County and not Pinellas County. Thus, the KDI is a useful an d user-friendly tool that
125 provides organizations with an opportunity to holistically analyze a karst terrain in a systematic and standardized manner. The Infilling of Sinkholes Soil Compaction Changes in the Water Table Vegetation Removal Destruction of Archaeological Sites Building of Roads and Building over Karst Features indicators are the main fact ors influencing the scoring difference between the four counties. Each of these indicators scored a severe disturbance score of three only in the more urbanized regi ons. Pinellas County consistently scored the highest with respect to each of these indicators, demonstratin g that urbanization is one of the most influential factor s in karst disturbance. The Building of Roads indicator received a severe disturbance score of three in each county, further illustrating the impact of urbanization on karst terrains. However, the number of major roads and highways in the less urbanized counties was significantly lower than those present in the two more urbanized counties. Multiple major roads and highways are necessary to accommodate th e large driving populations seen in Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties. As precipi tation travels over these roads, it becomes contaminated with oil, heavy metals, and ot her pollutants. Some of this contaminated water eventually reaches the underground a quifer. Thus, the karst aquifer underlying these two counties is polluted from high quant ities of contaminated stormwater runoff (SWFWMD 2005), the source of which is dire ctly linked to each CountyÂ’s sizeable driving population. Moreover, the urban sprawl seen in each of thes e counties has spurred the building of continually larger roads to accommodate large quantities of commuters. The Changes in the Water Table indicator received a score of three only in Pinellas County. The other TBMA counties rece ived a score of two. However, the reason
126 for the decline in the water table differs be tween the less urbanized and more urbanized counties. In Pinellas and H illsborough Counties the decline in the water table occurred largely as a result of over-pumping for municipal drinking water supply. As the population of Pinellas and Hillsborough Countie s grew, municipalities required the extraction of larger quantities of drinking water to sustain the population. Due to the excessive use of the karst aquifer underly ing Pinellas County, the aquifer is no longer capable of supplying freshwater to the CountyÂ’s citizens. In Pasco and Hernando Counties the pumping for municipa l supply lead to a small dec line in the water table. The other causal factor is the ex traction of groundwater for agriculture. Thus, this indicator helps to demonstrate the impact of not only ur banization, but also agri cultural practices. Massive deforestation in Pinellas and H illsborough Counties, originally the result of agriculture practices, is now a conse quence of urban construction. Vegetation is important for the karstification process. More over, vegetation decreases soil erosion rates by reducing rain-splash (Sauro 1993). Despite the importance of vegetation on karst terrains, 95 percent of both Pinellas a nd Hillsborough CountyÂ’s forested lands are destroyed. These lands are now replaced by buildings, houses, and roads (Pinellas County Metropolitan Planning Organi zation 2005). In Pasco and He rnando Counties, only 34 percent of the forested lands are destroyed, due in large pa rt to the presence of the Withalcoochee State Forest. Overall, through use of the KDI, each of the above indicators was able to highlight the areas of concern in the TBMA and the factors to closely monitor as Pasco and Hernando Counties continue to grow. This concern is generated by large increases in population. The human footprint and subsequent increasing environmental impact on the
127 TBMAÂ’s karst terrain is spurred by the growth of new suburban development. Agriculture preceded the urban sprawl in each TBMA county. However, it had a lesser impact on the karst terrain (van Beynen et al. 2007). The Public Education and Regulatory Protection indicators received a score of one, as opposed to zero. Regulations and programs in each TBMA county do not apply directly to karst environments, making it di fficult to determine which laws and public awareness plans pertain to karst stewardship problematic. This study revealed that county officials should focus on karst educati on and protection, speci fically, to increase stewardship in the area. Lastly, the KDI revealed that the charac teristics of differing karst environments determine the karst features more prone to disturbance. For example, the TBMA is a region riddled with sinkholes. As such, indica tors concentrated on sinkholes, such as the Infilling of Sinkholes and Dumping of Refuse into Sinkholes received significantly higher disturbance scores than indicators concentrat ed on caves. Only one county in the TBMA, Hernando County, contains vadose cave systems. These systems are generally small and, therefore, are not utilize d as tourist attractions or freque ntly visited by local cavers. Thus, these TBMA karst features ar e not particularly impacte d. Other regions have fewer occurrences of sinkholes and larger cave syst ems. In these regions, the KDI may reveal that cave-related indicators, such as Condensation Corrosion Destruction of Decorations and Floor Sediment Compaction are more readily impacted than sinkholes or may be as disturbed as th e sinkhole-related indicators.
128 Utility of KDI and Recommendations for its Refinement The application of the KDI in the TBMA not only provided an opportunity to identify the most threatened aspects of the karst terrain of the TB MA, but also allowed for the indexÂ’s refinement. Although data was readily available for most environmental indicators of the index, several minor issues arose during its app lication to the TBMA. For example there is a need for broader indicat or descriptions that encompass a variety of scenarios, a new water quality indicator, obsol ete data on sinkholes, a nd a lack of data for biota indicators. Each of these issues will be individually discussed below. Eighty-nine percent of the i ndicators applicable to this study had sufficient data to determine levels of disturbance. This led to a high degree of confidence in the accuracy of the total disturbance scores calculated in each TBMA county. However, the use of the KDI revealed a lack of current data for certa in indicators. This lack of data suggests where future research efforts can be direct ed; for the TBMA region this includes species richness and population density of subsurface cave and groundwater biota. As previously discussed, the counties of the TBMA have a de graded aquifer. However, issues arising from the degradation of this aquifer may a ffect more than drinking water supplies; the ecosystems of each CountyÂ’s fragile subsur face biotic life may be in decline. Unfortunately, little is known about the biota of karst systems, representing a problem with karst research in genera l, not a short-coming of the index. However, the OECDÂ’s and IDRCÂ’s indicator guidelines state that indicators should be consistent and reproducible. Thus, the insufficient data for th ese indicators presents a problem for the comparable application of the index (van Beynen et al. 2007). Nonetheless, these indicators should remain in the index, even though they are li kely to continually receive a
129 LD rating because only developed areas such as North America and Europe will have the necessary data available to evaluate these indicators. Otherwise, the destruction of subsurface biota may continue to be indirectly endangered in many regions. The quality of and inconsistency in data related to sinkhole locations and status held by state and local agencies increased the difficulty of determining a disturbance score for the I nfilling of Sinkholes and D umping of Refuse into Sinkholes indicators. The Florida Sinkhole Research Institute at the Univ ersity of Central Florida once maintained a database which provided valuable data on si nkhole occurrence in the state. However, due to insufficient funding, the program dissipate d. The Florida Geological Survey currently maintains the database. However, some of the sinkholes reported in the database are from insurance claims, leading to a debate as to whether many of the Â“sinkholesÂ” are in fact sinkholes or subsidence of sediment beneath homes. For this reason, a newly verified database accessible to the public is r ecommended for the documentation of sinkhole locations and their status (van Beynen et al. 2007). Topographic maps were utilized to determine the degree of sinkhole infilling, occurring in Hillsborough, Pasco, and He rnando Counties. In Hillsborough County, topographic maps from the 1940s and 1990-2000 we re analyzed to evaluate this karst disturbance. Unfortunately, when the later ma ps were updated, they were not completely modified and contour lines showing depressions were not removed after the sinkholes were infilled. Except for a few select quadr angles, the topographic maps of Pasco and Hernando Counties were last updated in th e 1950s and 1960s. Therefore, in order to evaluate this disturbance, the number of sinkholes count ed on early topographic maps was compared to the number of sinkholes pr esent on satellite images from the 2000s.
130 By analyzing the Infilling of Sinkholes indicator in this manne r, the ability of the researcher to maintain a consistent scale becomes an issue. For instance, while the topographic maps had a defined scale of 1: 24,000, the satellite images scale had to be estimated which made counting the exact num ber of sinkholes infilled difficult. The reason for this was that it was easier to count sinkholes on the satelli te images that may have not been shown on the topographic maps. Examining aerial photographs when determining the number of infilled sinkholes in Pinellas County, as performed by Wilson (2004), is a better way to determine if sinkhol es present in previous years were filled. Recent aerial photographs would also help lo cate open sinkholes to be inspected for the presence of refuse. However, developing countries may not have topographic maps, satellite images, or aerial photographs readily available. Nonetheless, the KDI is designed in such a way that indicators with insuffici ent data may be assigned a LD rating to be reflected in the confidence level for the study. Therefore, regions w ith differing available data sources may still be analyzed using the KDI, even if the infilling of sinkholes indicator is assigned an LD rating. Moreover, if an investigator is familiar with the study area, rough estimates of the degr ee of infilling may be possible. Application of the Use of Pesticides and Herbicides KDI indicator was problematic. Although the amount of concentr ated chemicals dispersed onto croplands and golf courses is relatively easy to determine, the quantification of the use of pesticides and herbicides by home owners is significan tly more difficult. Home use of these chemicals is particularly dangerous to kars t environments because home owners are not trained in the safe and envir onmentally-friendly application of pesticides and herbicides. Home lawns also generally cover significan tly more area than golf courses or cropland.
131 Moreover, home owners are more likely to use overly concentrated levels of these chemicals. Although knowing how many home lawn maintenance companies are in a study area is useful when trying to quantif y the degree of home pe sticide and herbicide use, not all home owners u tilize these businesses. Future users of the KDI should be aware of these issues when analyzing this indicator. This study also revealed that the Flooding of Surface Karst indicator is missing a potentially important element of karst disturba nce. This indicator analyzes the degree to which a karst terrain is flooded by human-built structures, such as large dams. However, in the TBMA, flood suppression, not incr eased flooding, has altered the natural distribution of surficial wa ter. Although the index provides no method for evaluating flood suppression, it does encourage the addi tion of any indicators necessary to holistically evaluate the region being studied. However, researchers must be very familiar with the karst terrain of the study area in order to do this. Thus, this researcher believes changing the Flooding of Surface Karst indicator to a more comprehensive hydrologic change indicator that is able to evaluate a ny form of alteration to the natural distribution of surficial water may be more effective in evaluating the human-induced change to a karst terrainÂ’s natural hydrology. Problems associated with the Petroleum and Industrial Spills indicator were also discovered while applying the KDI to the TBMA Currently, the indicator is scored based upon the number of brownfields in a given regi on. However, this rese archer believes this is not an accurate depicti on of the disturbance caused by industrial and petroleum products. For instance, Pinellas, Hills borough, and Pasco Counties each received a disturbance score of one for this indicator solely based upon the numbe r of brownfields in
132 each locale. However, Pinellas County had over fi ve other industrial sp ills that occurred in the county from 1997 to 2004, releasi ng over 33,000 pounds of contaminants onto the karst terrain. In contrast, since 1994, Pasc o County has had only one industrial spill, releasing just over 13,000 pounds of contamin ants. Hernando County has had two spills releasing 3,000 pounds of contaminants. H illsborough County has four brownfields, while the other TBMA counties each have no more than two. Despite these apparent differences, each county received a disturbance score of one. Thus, scoring this indicator strictly based upon the number of brownf ields in an area may overlook the true disturbance caused by petroleum and industrial spills. Therefor e, to holistically evaluate the disturbance caused by industrial and petrol eum spills, the descriptors for this indicator should encompass more than the number of br ownfields in the study area. This researcher discovered that Hillsborough County already has a GIS coverage of leaks and spills from trunks and tanks. Other indicators were also constrained by indicator score descriptions listed in van Beynen and Townsend (2005). To resolve th is problem, indicator descriptions should be broadened to encompass more scenarios. For example, the descriptor for assigning a score of one to the Public Education indicator states th at only non-governmental organizations are involved in providing information to the public; however, the governmental agencies of each TBMA county are large educators of the public on the sensitivity of karst environments. Similarly, the Quarrying and Mining indicator only suggests the examination of large-scale strip mines. Reclaimed mines are not taken into account. However, karst regions will have varying quarrying and mining characteristics that should be included in the assessment of this i ndicatorÂ’s disturbance level.
133 Consequently, when determining a score fo r any KDI indicator, re searchers should not only rely on the indicator descri ptor provided in the index, but also the characterization of each indicator score; that is, a score of three is for severe disturbance, while a score of zero is for a pristine environm ent (van Beynen et al. 2007). The Occurrence of Algal Blooms was the only KDI indicato r entirely replaced in this study (van Beynen et al 2007). To evaluate the Occurrence of Algal Blooms indicator researchers were advised to de termine Â“the severity and longevity of eutrophication of surface water fed by kars t aquifers,Â” (van Beynen and Townsend 2005, p. 110). However, karst regions will probabl y have different sets of harmful water constituents that may not spur the arbitrary degrees of eutrophication listed in the original KDI indicator table. Therefor e, an indicator adaptable to individual karst regions, the Concentration of Harmful Chem ical Constituents in Springs indicator, was created to holistically evaluate water qual ity and highlight elevated levels of harmful chemicals in karst waters. The new indicator allows the researcher to determine the problematic constituents and the degree of impact the presence of these constituents has on the water quality of the locale being studied. Lastly, the wording of the total disturba nce rating system should be changed from what is shown in van Beynen and Townsend (2005). Clearer descriptions of the total degree of disturbance and more consistency be tween individual indi cator scores and the final index score are needed (van Beynen et al. 2007). For instance, in van Beynen and Townsend (2005), an indicator score of thr ee meant Â“catastrophicÂ” disturbance, which may imply completely destroyed with no chance of repair to many people. Therefore, this terminology was changed to mean Â“severeÂ” di sturbance in van Be ynen et al. (2007).
134 This change was also spurred because the labe l of Â“severeÂ” disturbance can be correlated more easily with the total disturbance cat egories which are named Â“highly disturbed, moderately disturbed, disturbed, li ttle disturbance, and pristine.Â” Similar to organizational strategy planning in which an outcome may be evident, the process of applying the KDI provides organizations and communities with an opportunity to holistically anal yze their karst terrain in a systematic and standardized manner, forcing organizations to consider kars t threats that they ma y have not previously considered. Overall, the results from the index help resource managers establish a baseline for the degree of huma n disturbance in a region. With repeated application of the index in the region, these managers can de termine if the level of disturbance has improved or worsened over time. Resource ma nagers can also use the KDI to establish indicators receiving a score of three, highlighting where resources necessary to improve the quality of the karst environment should be allocated. Using the KDI also allows managers to highlight hot spots within enti re regions that require remediation, if, for example, the KDI were applied to the remainder of west-central Florida. Participant Interviews Insightful suggestions for the refinement of the KDI were also obtained from the participant interviews. Each participant agreed that the KDI is a usef ul tool for evaluating karst terrains. Each interviewee also agreed that the holistic approach of the index increases its utility within varying study areas. From the interviewees it was also ascertained that in the TBMA, the county, not di strict-level is where the KDI needs to be utilized. As stated by Informant D Â“the county is starving for tools such as the
135 KDIÂ…otherwise, they come to us (the di strict-level) for information.Â” From the interviews, it also became clear that the KDI is a great tool for the academic community, but cannot be used in the professional commun ity on a daily basis. Therefore, the KDI is useful to many, not all, of the professionals at the county, district or state levels. This researcher agrees that an evaluati on of the number of petroleum tanks in an area is necessary to holistica lly assess the disturbance cau sed by industrial and petroleum spills. The greater the number of underground petroleum tanks, the gr eater the likelihood that petroleum products are leaking from thes e tanks into the underground karst aquifer. Although quantifying the exact quantity of products seeping into the aquifers is difficult, the presence of petroleum tanks should still be considered when determining a score for the Petroleum and Industrial Spills indicator or a separate indi cator should be included to evaluate the potential disturbance fr om leaking underground storage tanks. This researcher also agrees with informant B that stormwater flow into spring pools should also be considered when analyz ing stormwater flow into sinkholes. Both springs and sinkholes serve as direct links to underground karst aquifers. If contaminated stormwater is funneled into either of thes e karst features, groundw ater supplies and the health of groundwater biota will be jeopa rdized. Although, this is a problem in Weeki Wachee springs in Hernando County, this resear cher had not considered the stormwater flow into spring pools prior to meeting with this informant. The estimation of the disturbance caused by the stormwater flow into spring pools could be completed by contacting local stormwater management offi cials or analyzing spring water quality for the presence of nutrients and metals often found in stormwater runoff. Although this may be difficult in less developed nations, an LD score can be assigned if necessary.
136 Although building over karst is undoubt edly a severe karst disturbance, informant D explained how recontouring the land in housing developments changes groundwater hydrology by channeling water flow to portions of the landscape it had previously not flowed to or by eliminating the flow of water to areas used for naturally drainage. Hydrologic gradients are also altered by this practice. In continually growing regions such as the TBMA, this disturbance could be co nsidered to further evaluate the impact of urbanization on the areaÂ’s karst terrain. However, the quantification of the degree of land recontouring would be difficult without deta iled records. In developing nations it is unlikely that this information will be availa ble. Therefore, more generalized descriptors could be assigned to this indicator to minimi ze the occurrence of an LD rating for this indicator. The same informant suggested that not only the destruction to archaeological, but also paleonotological remains s hould be evaluated by the KDI. Although paleonotological remains are valuable pieces of scientific knowledge, the inclusion of an indicator developed solely for the destruction of these remain s would often result in a LD rating due to a lack of documentation of th ese remains in most regions. To avoid this, paleonotological remains could be consider ed when analyzing the floor sediment compaction indicator. Lastly, this informant suggested that the liming of soil to improve crop production by altering pH should be measured in the KDI. This researcher agrees. Altering soil pH changes the natural developm ent of the karst terrain. Comparing data on the total land coverage of cr oplands employing these techniques to the total land area in a region could easily lead to an accurate dist urbance score. Regions not employing the use of lime could drop the in dicator all together.
137 Several other indicators that could be a dded to the index were suggested by the informants. However, some of these indicato rs are too specific to the TBMA region or diverge from true karst dist urbance issues. For instance, informant A believes that indicators should be include d on the decline of manatees using spring pools off the Tampa Bay coast. However, most other regi ons where the index ma y be applied will not be concerned with manatees. Moreover, the heal th of manatees off the coast is not a true karst issue even though these animals are usi ng the karst springs as their habitat. The reduction in spring flow could potentiall y be evaluated, but not the migration of the manatees alone. The total disturbance scores included in the index was an issue raised by many of the informants. One concern is the reorderi ng of the total distur bance classifications Â“disturbedÂ” and Â“moderately disturbed.Â” Th is terminology can be a little misleading because Â“moderately disturbedÂ” sounds as if it should come after Â“disturbed,Â” not before. Another issue raised by the participants is the breakdow n of the total disturbance classifications. In van Beynen and Townsend ( 2005) these classification were as follows: 0.0-0.19 (pristine), 0.2-0.39 (little disturbanc e), 0.4-0.59 (disturbed), 0.6-0.79 (highly disturbed), and 0.8-1.0 (severely disturbed). Each informant ag reed that the simplicity of these disturbance scores are nice, but may be more useful to the professional community if more disturbance levels were incorporat ed to better reflect subtle interregional differences. Informants making this sugges tion each agreed that one or two more classifications would be sufficient.
138 Future Application of the KDI Continued research on anthropogenic distur bance is necessary in order to create policy regarding the protection of karst e nvironments. Future work involving this research includes the potentia l creation of a model for pla nners managing karst areas to use in determining the amount of disturbanc e in their respective areas. Additionally, application of the karst disturbance index to other sensitive and unique karst areas, including Jamaica, Belize, and Italy, will contin ue to evaluate the utility of the index in different karst regions. These proposed studies will continue to detect any indicators not addressed by the KDI, and also determine how indicators change from place to place. Secondly, the indicators should be reviewed to tighten their quantitativeness to reduce any likelihood of evalua tor subjectivity (van Be ynen et al. 2007).
139 Chapter Six Conclusions A holistic environmental index, combini ng both quantitative and qualitative indicators, was applied to the TBMA to a ssess the degree of human disturbance to the areaÂ’s karst terrain. Through the successful application of th e index, the results of this study were able to conclude that urbaniza tion does have an adverse affect on karst terrains: Pinellas County is highly disturbed (0.61), Hillsborough County is highly disturbed (0.63), Pasco County is disturbed (0.54), and Hernando County is disturbed (0.49). The application of the index also a llowed for the identification of the most threatening effects of urbanization on the karst terrain of the TBMA, these include I nfilling of Sinkholes S oil Compaction W ater Table Changes V egetation Removal D estruction of Archaeological Sites and Building over Karst Features indicators. Each of these indicators received a score of three exclusively in the more urbanized Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties. Of the applicable in dicators, 89 percent had sufficient data to assign a disturbance score, leading to a hi gh confidence level in the total disturbance score calculated for each county in the TBMA. The application of the KDI in the TBMA al so provided an opportunity to identify problems with the KDI and make suggestions for the indexÂ’s refinement. Overall, the KDI is a user-friendly tool, which clearly outl ines guidelines for assessing each indicator, determining total indicator scor es, and establishing the degree of confidence in the results
140 of the KDIÂ’s application. Although some indi cators, such as the concentrations of harmful chemical constituents indicator, ar e broad and generalized so they may be evaluated in any karst region, th e index as a whole is a system atic and standardized tool that allows for the holistic ev aluation of the anthro pogenic disturbance to a karst terrain. Nonetheless problems with the KDI were di scovered through its application to the TBMA. These problems are summarized in Table 8 Table 9 summarizes the recommendations for addressing these probl ems and improving the utility of the KDI. Table 8 : Table summarizing problems associated with the KDI. 1) The difficulty of evaluating sinkhole indicat ors due to the poor quality of and inconsistency in data rela ted to sinkhole locations and status. 2) The difficulty of maintaining a consistent scale when utilizing multiple medias to evaluate the Infilling of Sinkholes indicator. 3) A lack of current data regarding biotic indicators. 4) The overlooking of potential karst distur bances such as leak ing petroleum tanks and flood suppression by the index. 5) The need to reword the KDIÂ’s disturbance classifications. 6) The constraining nature of indicator score descriptions. 7) Occurrence of Algal Blooms indicator incapable of holisti cally assessing water quality. Table 9 : Table summarizing recommendations for refining the KDI. 1) Encourage use of aerial photographs, not topographic maps, when analyzing the Infilling of Sinkholes indicator. 2) Broaden indicator score descrip tions, such as those found in the Quarrying and Mining Industrial and Petroleum Spills and Public Education indicators, to encompass a greater diversity of potential karst disturbance scenarios. 3) Include indicators related to underground pe troleum storage tanks, stormwater flow into spring pools, and liming of cropland. 4) Retool the Species Richness and Population Density of cave and groundwater biota indicators to decrease the occu rrence of Â“Lack of DataÂ” designations. 5) Incorporate more total disturbance clas sifications to better reflect subtle interregional differences. 6) Reword the total disturbance scores pr esented in van Beynen and Townsend (2005). 7) Change the Occurrence of Algal Blooms indicator to Concentrations of Harmful Chemical Constituents to more holistically evaluate water quality. 8) Change Flooding indicator to more generalized Anthropogenic Hydrologic Chang e indicator to encompass a wider variety of human-induced changes to karst hydrology.
141 The results from the repeated applicat ion of the KDI can be used by resource managers to assess how the overall state of disturbed regions has improved or worsened over time. These results can also be used to in dicate the areas in most need of attention and remediation. In Pinellas and Hillsborough C ounties, urban sprawl is responsible for the high degree of disturbance in the area. In Pasco and Hernando Counties, agricultural practices are equally as impor tant as urban growth in di sturbing the areaÂ’s karst. By understanding causality, measures such as urban renewal projects in Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties and better regulation of agricultural practices in Pasco and Hernando Counties can help to minimize the hum an footprint in these counties. Regional managers can also use the KDI to highlight ho t spots within the enti re region that require attention by applying the KDI to the remainde r of west-central Fl oridaÂ’s counties. In conclusion, no prior research has ho listically analyzed th e human disturbance of karst. However, through the application of the KDI to the TBMA, a region with a mix of urban and rural land uses, and interviewi ng of key informants, the level of karst disturbance was holistically evaluated, the im pact of urbanization on karst is better understood, and recommendations for the refineme nt of the KDI were made. This data adds to the existing body of scientific knowledge in that it indicates which types of karst disturbance affect both urba n and non-urban karst areas. By evaluating these impacts, measures can continually be taken to addr ess the human-induced disturbance on karst. Similar to organizational stra tegy planning in which an outcome may be evident, the process of applying the KDI provides organi zations and communities with an opportunity to holistically analyze their karst terrain in a systematic and standardized manner, forcing organizations to consider karst threats that th ey may have not been previously considered.
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