- Dona and Roberts Bays: 112 acres to be protected and restored
- Upper Lemon Bay: 1,009 acres to be protected
- Lower Lemon Bay: 2,882 acres to be protected and restored
- Tidal Myakka River: 456 acres to be protected
- Tidal Peace River: 975 acres to be protected and restored
- Charlotte Harbor West Wall: 2,106 acres to be protected and restored
- Charlotte Harbor East Wall: 3,898 acres to be protected and restored
- Charlotte Harbor Lower: 3,342 acres to be protected
- Cape Haze: 6,998 acres to be protected
- Pine Island Sound: 26,837 acres to be protected
- Matlacha Pass: 9,315 acres to be protected and restored
- San Carlos Bay: 4,372 acres to be protected
- Tidal Caloosahatchee River*: >93 acres to be protected and restored *(to be adjusted when more detailed information becomes available)
- Estero Bay: 3,662 acres to be protected and restored
These seagrass targets were used to develop water clarity targets for each of the CHNEP estuaries. And because water clarity in CHNEP has been shown to be primarily related to water color, chlorophyll and turbidity, it has been possible to establish water quality criteria needed to support the water clarity and seagrass targets.
Consequently, water clarity serves an important link between the biological seagrass communities and the chemical water quality conditions. Accurately measuring water clarity and calculating conditions in the past, present and future are essential to effective resource management. However, measuring water clarity in the field can be complicated by wave and cloud conditions and sensitive monitoring equipment. Water color, chlorophyll and turbidity are more reliably, precisely, and accurately measured in the field. In addition, historical records of these parameters pre-date our ability to measure water clarity. Therefore, developing the mathematical relationships between water clarity and color, chlorophyll, and turbidity for each of the CHNEP estuaries allows us to more descriptively calculate, rather than measure, water clarity conditions. Developing these mathematical relationships into an Optical Model also helps resource managers assess trends in water clarity from past conditions and under future resource management scenarios.
CHNEP contracted with Mote Marine Laboratory in 2012 to develop an Optical Model to estimate water clarity from available color, chlorophyll, and turbidity data for the CHNEP estuaries. The Optical Model was based on research in southwest Florida, the measured amount of light available at the deep edge of the seagrasses and the historical record of water quality data through 2011. The project also included development of a Water Clarity Reporting Tool by Janicki Environmental, Inc. to present trends in water clarity compared to seagrass targets in an easily understood, graphic form. The details of the Optical Model and Water Clarity Reporting Tool development and results are available in the project final report The Optical Model Spectral Validation and Annual Water Clarity Reporting Tool: Final Report (L.K. Dixon and M.R. Wessel, 2014).