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Florida Everglades

Environmental Monitoring in the Everglades

EPA has been conducting an assessment of the Everglades’ health over the last 20 years. The Everglades Regional Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program, or REMAP (also referred to as the Everglades Ecosystem Assessment Program), measures current and changing conditions for water quality and ecological resources. This program is the only scientific effort in the Everglades that combines:

  • a probability-based sampling approach, which permits quantitative spatial statements about ecosystem health
  • an extensive 2000 square mile coverage that includes all of the Everglades
  • a multi-media aspect (water, sediment, fish, algal communities, and plants such as sawgrass and cattail).


Program data track the effectiveness of restoration efforts such as the:

Program data have been used by the National Academies of Sciences and over 30 federal or Florida agencies, Indian tribes, environmental groups, agricultural interests and universities. During phase I (1993-1996), phase II (1999), phase III (2005), and phase IV (2013-2014), EPA has sampled about 1100 marsh locations. About 125 locations are sampled in a two-week window in order to assess the entire Everglades at a point in time. In addition, about 200 canal locations were sampled during phase I.

Results indicate that:

  • the condition of the Everglades varies greatly with location
  • rainfall-driven portions of the Everglades that are distant from the influence of canal water have good water quality
  • other areas have poorer water quality, elevated soil phosphorus, extensive cattail encroachment, elevated mercury, elevated sulfur, or soil loss.

EPA Reports 

Everglades Ecosystem Assessment Interim Report - This interim report introduces the system-wide scope of the monitoring project in the Everglades ecosystem and presents findings from 1995 on the mercury contamination, eutrophication, habitat alteration, and hydropattern modification issues.
Everglades Ecosystem Assessment: Final Technical Report – Phase I - This extensive technical report presents phase I (1993-1996) findings on threats to the Everglades including mercury contamination, eutrophication, habitat alteration, and hydropattern modification.
Everglades Ecosystem Assessment: Everglades Water Management, Soil Loss, Eutrophication and Habitat - This summary report documents Phase I 1993 to 1996 baseline conditions in the Everglades and Big Cypress prior to ecosystem restoration efforts. 
Project results for the canals and marsh, and temporal changes for phase I (1995-96) and phase II (1999), are presented in a summary report and an extensive technical report including appendices and data files. 
Everglades Ecosystem Assessment: Water Management and Quality, Eutrophication, Mercury Contamination, Soils and Habitat; Monitoring for Adaptive Management:  A REMAP Status Report  - Project results are presented for 1000 locations sampled during phase I (1993-1996), phase II (1999), and phase III (2005) along with temporal changes.  
Everglades Ecosystem Assessment Phase IV - Results from the 2013 monitoring survey
EPA Everglades EMAP 2013 Data(3 pp, 136 K)  [Excel]

Everglades Ecosystem Assessment Phase IV: 2014 Report - Project results are presented for 119 locations sampled during 2014 for phase IV. 

EPA Everglades EMAP 2014 Data (3 pp, 171 K)