Ecosystem “lag effect”

Now that the Super El Niño has settled down,

Freshwater flows to the Caloosahatchee estuary are back in check.

This calendar chart shows the history of freshwater flows into the Caloosahatchee Estuary from 1980 to present.  Too little freshwater flow, thus causing saltwater intrustion, is indicated by red and orange data points.  Too much freshwater flow is indicated by the larger black and blue circles.  Flows within the range of the desired salinity envelop are indicated by green check marks. 

February saw the highest freshwater flows to the Caloosahatchee Estuary since the summer of 2013 and the highest winter flows since the El Niño fueled winter of 1998.  While the flows are back in check, I’m not sure how well the estuaries have recovered.

Ecosystems always have a lag effect.

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