Loxahatchee River District
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Preserving Nature by Design
Preserving Nature by Design
General Information

Below is a compilation of much of the water quality and biological research and monitoring programs conducted by the River District's WildPine Ecological Laboratory. If you have questions about these programs, or need more information, please contact the Loxahatchee River District at (561) 747-5700 or .

RiverKeeper - Water Quality

The Loxahatchee River District created Project RiverKeeper in 1973 to focus on water quality monitoring within the Loxahatchee River watershed. Data obtained through this program help water managers to evaluate and document the condition and ecological health of the river and to determine the location and extent of water quality issues that require attention. These reports provide our most recent characterization of water quality in our river and with some historical perspective.

Data & Results Summary:
Maps & Mapping Data:

Datasonde - High-Frequency Water Quality Monitoring

Since 2004, the Loxahatchee River District has been using automated instrumentation (aka datasondes) to provide near continuous water quality data from key locations throughout the Loxahatchee River. At each monitoring location, the datasonde monitors and records water temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, pH and depth every 15 minutes at most sites, every 60 minutes at the freshwater sites.

The datasonde data show daily and seasonal variation in key water quality parameters (e.g., dissolved oxygen, salinity) at select sites in the watershed. Similarly, these data can be used to understand differences in water quality across key gradients in the watershed. These data are invaluable when trying to understand occurrence patterns of plants (e.g., seagrass, cypress trees) and animals (e.g., crabs, fish) in the Loxahatchee River.


LRD is developing a web interface to download data. In the meantime, please contact the WildPine Laboratory ( ) for datasonde data.

Maps & Mapping Data:

Seagrass - Mapping and Monitoring

Seagrasses are recognized as one of the most important habitats within the Loxahatchee River estuary and the Indian River Lagoon. Seagrasses play a critical role in providing sediment stabilization, nutrient cycling, detridal food sources, and nursery grounds for many recreational and commercially important fisheries. The main objective of this work is to document the density, distribution and species composition of seagrasses found within the Loxahatchee River and the southernmost portion of the Indian River Lagoon. This work is instrumental for environmental management efforts, such as the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Program. These reports document the spatial and temporal variation of the seagrass in the Loxahatchee River Estuary and the distribution of seagrass species mapped with landscape scale monitoring.

Maps & Mapping Data:

Oyster - Restoration and Monitoring

Oyster reefs provide important benefits to the overall health of the Loxahatchee River by cleaning water, stabilizing shorelines and providing essential fish habitat. Oyster reefs have declined in the river due to a lack of hard surfaces where oyster larvae can attach. The Loxahatchee River District and their partners are working together to restore and conduct research on the oyster reefs in the Loxahatchee River. This restoration and research shows that oysters provide remarkable habitat that is home to a variety of fish, crabs, shrimp and other valuable species, while providing new areas for larval oysters to grow.

Maps & Mapping Data:

Event Sampling - Stormwater Monitoring

Automated water samplers are used to document nutrient loading to the system following storm events. These autosamplers begin monitoring water quality based on the occurrence of a storm event, and collect water samples every four hours. These samples are analyzed WildPine Ecological Laboratory for the following water quality parameters: turbidity, color, ortho-P, total phosphorus, total suspended solids, alkalinity, total kjeldahl nitrogen, ammonia and nitrate/nitrite.

These reports summarize the short-term effects of rainfall events and associated increased discharge on water quality into Loxahatchee River. The results illustrate how stormwater runoff affects water quality differently among locations in the Loxahatchee watershed.

  • Stormwater Master Data Set (coming soon)



River and Watershed Management

Restoration Plan for the Northwest Fork of the Loxahatchee River

Restoration Plan for the Northwest Fork of the Loxahatchee River

The unique ecosystem of the Northwest Fork of the Loxahatchee River, with its quiet beauty, has captured the attention and imagination of residents and visitors, agency and community leaders for many years. Consisting of 9.5 miles of federally-designated Wild and Scenic River, it provides essential habitats that support a wide spectrum of ecological resources including freshwater riverine floodplain vegetation such as bald cypress, freshwater and estuarine fishes, and tidal floodplain vegetation such as mangroves, oysters and seagrasses.

This restoration plan is the result of a successful partnership between the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Southeast District Office (DEP-SED), the Florida Park Service-District 5 office (FPS-District 5), and the Loxahatchee River Environmental Control District (LRD).

Other Reports:
Research Bilbiolography:

Lionfish in the Loxahatchee River


Lionfish are beautiful predatory fish, with unusual coloration and venomous spines, which are native to the Indo-Pacific. They were recently introduced to the western Atlantic waters and Caribbean where their populations are exploding. Because lionfish are voracious predators, and our native fish do not seem to recognize the newcomer as a predator, research suggests that they could have a serious impact on our ecology. Recently, our research partners from Florida International University have discovered lionfish in the Loxahatchee River estuary. This first documentation of lionfish in an estuarine system, is especially concerning because estuaries are already threatened and provide critical habitat for a myriad of species. This groundbreaking research by the scientists at Florida International University is helping us gain a better understand lionfish in the Loxahatchee, and our region.

Report Lionfish Sightings:
  • If you have sighted a lionfish in the Loxahatchee River, please report it here.


Photo Gallery
The River Center's Jr, Angler Tournament
Latest photos added: The River Center's Jr, Angler Tournament.
What's New
River Center Announces Dates for 2nd Annual Jr. Angler Fishing Tournament
The Loxahatchee River District's River Center is excited to announce the 2nd Annual Jr. Angler Fishing Tournament.
Girl Scouts: Science Behind Your Senses!
The Science Behind Your Senses / Be A Sister to Every Girl Scout. This fun-filled event will help Brownies understand their senses and Daisies will discover the world around them alongside their Girl Scout sisters.
Featured on CNN! Diamond Ring Recovered in Sewer
Check out the latest story about the Loxahatchee River District as featured on CNN.
Events Calendar
May 27, 2015
NPBCID Meeting
May 28, 2015
Starfish and Coffee Storytime
May 30, 2015
5th Annual Lionfish Round-Up
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Loxahatchee River District, 2500 Jupiter Park Drive, Jupiter, FL 33458-8964
Tel: 561.747.5700   Fax: 561.747.9929   Email: