|At EAI, we are continuously
providing innovative environmental management and monitoring solutions
to private and public sector clients in Florida and beyond. Visit
website often for current updates on EAI projects, publications,
presentations, awards, and other relevant news.
|June 2007. EAI initiated
baseline monitoring for a proposed dredging project in the Manatee
Pocket, Martin County, Florida. The Manatee Pocket is a shallow
embayment near the confluence of the St. Lucie River, Indian River
Lagoon, and St. Lucie Inlet. The County has proposed removing
muck sediments from the Pocket to enhance navigation and restore
environmental function. Monitoring of water quality, sediment
chemistry, benthic macroinvertebrates, and seagrasses before and after
construction will serve as the basis for assessing the effectiveness of
the restoration project.
|March 2007. EAI was awarded a
contract to prepare a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) for Walton
County, Florida. Much of the County’s Gulf of Mexico shoreline
experienced considerable erosion following the passage of Hurricane
Dennis in 2005. In response, the County issued a number of
emergency permits for shoreline armoring. Under a federal grant,
Walton County, is developing the HCP in support of application to the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for a Section 10(b) Incidental Take
Permit (ITP), which would authorize the incidental take of several
species of sea turtles, the Choctawhatchee beach mouse, and wintering
piping plovers resulting from shoreline protection activities initiated
under the County’s emergency authorization. The HCP will include
a variety of measures to minimize take, as well as programs to mitigate
|March 2007. EAI working as a
sub-contractor to Taylor Engineering, Inc. initiated a sea turtle
monitoring program for the beaches of northern Palm Beach County,
Florida. In collaboration with the Loggerhead Marinelife Center
Beach, EAI staff will document nesting activity along approximately 9.5
miles of beach from the Martin/Palm Beach County Line south to the
northern boundary of J.D. MacArthur State Park. The data
generated from this monitoring program will be integrated into a
County-wide database and used in support of permitting for beach
nourishment and other coastal construction projects.
|September 2006. EAI began
working with the Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico to develop a light
management strategy for the communities surrounding the Las Cabezas de
San Juan Nature Preserve in Puerto Rico. Increasing development
and the accompanying artificial light pollution is degrading nesting
habitat within the Preserve and interfering with the public’s enjoyment
of the adjacent bioluminescent lagoon, a popular tourist attraction.
EAI will evaluate lights in the communities adjacent to the Preserve,
provide recommendations for improving light management, and work with
local officials to transfer light management strategies to other
coastal communities within Puerto Rico.
|November 2005. In October
2001, EAI began assisting Volusia County with renewal of its Incidental
Take Permit (ITP) for beach driving. EAI amended the County’s
Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) and developed other documents in
support of the permit renewal. On November 17, 2005, the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service issued the new ITP. The 25-year permit
authorizes incidental take of sea turtles and piping plovers resulting
from beach driving and vehicular beach access-related activities along
36 miles of Atlantic Beaches managed by the County. The HCP
contains numerous provisions, programs, and plans to minimize the take
of protected species along the County’s beaches. Since 1996, EAI
has assisted Volusia County with implementation of its HCP and that
assistance will continue into the foreseeable future as the new permit
and amended HCP take effect.
|June 2004. In collaboration
with Florida Atlantic University, Ecological Associates, Inc. is
preparing a Manatee Protection Plan (MPP) for Palm Beach County,
Florida. The MPP entails the development of policies, programs,
and guidelines for reducing impacts to the endangered Florida
manatee. EAI has previously prepared MPPs for the coastal
waterways of Martin (2001) and St. Lucie (2002) Counties.
2003. The Notice of
Availability of the Habitat
Conservation Plan for the
Protection of Sea Turtles on Eroding Beaches in Indian River County,
Florida and the accompanying Environmental Assessment, both
developed by Ecological Associates, Inc., have been
posted for public comment in the Federal Register (Vol. 68, No. 225,
Pgs. 65730-65732) by the Department of the Interior Fish and
Click here to view the full Habitat
Conservation Plan (PDF file).
Click here to view the full Environmental
Assessment (PDF file).
|September 2003. Ecological
Associates, Inc. was the recipient of the Florida Shore & Beach
Preservation Association's (FSBPA's) 2003 Environmental Award.
Our firm was honored for its long-time "research and public advocacy to
protect sea turtles." The award was presented September 4, 2003
during FSBPA's 47th Annual Conference held in Amelia Island, Florida.