One of them we often overlook is that "we can."
Monitoring can tell you quite a lot ...
That wasn't always the case.
Prior to its restoration, paddlers opted for the nearby canal instead. The reason? The canal and adjacent levee, i.e. Turner River Road, prevented water from reaching the natural channel.
You can see that from the graph above.
The graph shows bridge-by-bridge discharge for the western half of the preserve, from Carnestown to Monroe Station as a percentage (%) of flow in the total reach. Red bars show the pre-restoration distribution of flow and blue bars show the post restoration result. Prior to restoration, Turner River Canal (Bridge 84) accounted for a third of the annual discharge for the entire reach. Restoration actions forced the canal to spread that allotment around: today it accounts for only 8 percent of the total flow for the reach. Where did all that water go? A good chunk of it was routed back to the Turner River where it belongs, raising the river's allotment of water from 4 to 10 percent of the reach's total annual flow.
|But you have to get out on the river|
with a paddle to see it for yourself, too.
But the biggest proof of restoration isn't found in the data:
It's the regular sight of paddlers back on the river (and away from the canal).