Available Habitat is a Key Limiting Factor for Species Diversity
Stream habitat assessments are an important step in biomonitoring and restoration projects.
Almost every project has a habitat evaluation component because it can be a critical limiting factor for species diversity; therefore, cost and effort can be minimized by first assessing habitat.
EnviroScience has over 30 years of experience evaluating in-stream and riparian habitats. Our biologists can evaluate stream habitats from small headwater streams to major river systems like the Allegheny and Ohio rivers. Oftentimes, habitats can vary greatly—even within a few feet.
Therefore, we use the latest technology—such as underwater video and GIS/GPS mapping—in conjunction with standard evaluation forms such as the Qualitative Habitat Evaluation Index (QHEI) to provide a visual and descriptive analysis of the project area habitat.
Our biologists perform a stream habitat assessment by several innovative methods, including:
- GIS / GPS Mapping
- Rosgen Stream Classification
- Aquatic and Shoreline Vegetative Surveys
- SCUBA Surveys
- Bottom Contour Mapping
- Bottom Typing Using Hydroacoustics
- Underwater Video
- Habitat Assessment Forms (per state/federal regulatory agency)
Lake Habitat and Lake Fisheries
Habitat is a broad term used to describe the environment where organisms live and breed. Habitat in reference to aquatic ecosystems generally refers to overhanging vegetation, aquatic plants, woody debris, rock, substrate, and water depth. The quality and distribution of these structures directly influence the living organisms and the entire lake ecosystem.
Conducting a habitat inventory with a fishery analysis can effectively guide management decisions concerning recreational fishing, boating, fish stocking, and water quality.
Our biologists perform lake and aquatic ecosystems habitat assessments by several innovative methods, including;
- GPS/GIS mapping
- Aquatic and shoreline vegetative surveys
- SCUBA surveys
- Bottom contour mapping
- Bottom typing using hydroacoustics
- Underwater video
A common recommendation given to many lake managers is the enhancement of structures by both artificial and natural means. EnviroScience can aid in the assessment and application of habitat restoration and enhancement programs.
Habitat can be artificially enhanced by man-made structures which are cost-effective and easy to construct. EnviroScience can assist in the design and installation of these structures as well as facilitate any associated permitting requirements. Examples of these structures include vertical and horizontal log structures and brush piles.
A common natural restoration activity requires landowners to cease mowing activities near shorelines and allow the growth of a natural buffer. Reseeding shorelines with natural vegetation is one simple way to decrease shoreline erosion and provide shade and cover for juvenile fish. EnviroScience can design an aesthetic natural buffer zone using native plants in a process called Lakescaping.
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Few environmental firms in the country retain EnviroScience’s degree of scientific know-how, talent, and capability under one roof. The diverse backgrounds of our biologists, environmental engineers, scientists, and divers enable us to provide comprehensive in-house services and an integrated approach to solving environmental challenges—saving clients time, reducing costs, and ensuring high-quality results.
Our client guarantee is to provide “Excellence in Any Environment,” meaning no matter what we do, we will deliver on our Core Values of respect, client advocacy, quality work, accountability, teamwork, and safety. EnviroScience was created with the concept that we could solve complex problems by empowering great people. This concept still holds true today as our scientists explore the latest environmental legislation and regulations and incorporate the most up-to-date technology to gather and report data.
EnviroScience expertise includes but is not limited to: aquatic surveys (including macroinvertebrate surveys and biological assessments); ecological restoration; ecological services (including impact assessments, invasive species control, and water quality monitoring); emergency response; engineering and compliance services; endangered mussel surveys; laboratory and analysis; stormwater management; threatened and endangered species; and wetlands and streams (including delineation and mitigation). Further, EnviroScience is one of the few biological firms in the country that is a general member of the Association of Diving Contractors International (ADCI) and offers full-service commercial diving services.