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Aquatic Enviromental consultancy, EcoServe

jatalah
February 01, 2007

Aquatic Enviromental consultancy, EcoServe

Lecture gave at University College Dublin for the MSc programme in Environmental Science, February 2004.

jatalah

February 01, 2007
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  1. UCD – February 2004 Aquatic Environmental consultancy www.ecoserve.ie Research to

    consultancy Javier Atalah, MSc, PhD
  2. UCD – February 2004 Outline of presentation  Outline of

    the company  Research  BioMar project  PESI  Marbef  EIAs  Steps of a project  Case studies  Finding work in the consultancy field
  3. UCD – February 2004 From a university research group to

    a company  Research group in TCD (1993 – 1996)  Contracts ended  Examined campus company options  Established in August 1996 as a completely private company  Based in TCD for short period (4 staff)  Left TCD later 1996 to Enterprise Centre in Terenure (6 staff)  Recently moved to current address
  4. UCD – February 2004 From a university research group to

    a company • Present day • Two directors (NZ and Norway)  Two marine ecologists  One lab manager/taxonomist  One freshwater ecologist  Part time administrator • 50% marine and freshwater consultancy • 50% research projects (European and national)
  5. UCD – February 2004 Survey sites around Ireland

  6. UCD – February 2004 Environmental Impact Assessments

  7. UCD – February 2004 Marine and Estuarine Ecoserve’s services include:

     Environmental Impact Assessment  Biotope mapping  Intertidal and subtidal surveys  Fisheries assessments  Water and sediment sampling analysis  Monitoring and mitigation analysis  EIS critical review
  8. UCD – February 2004 Freshwater Our services include:  Environmental

    Impact Assessment  Macroinvertebrate sampling, identification and Q-index determination for water quality assessment  Fish habitat assessment and survey  Protected and endangered species surveys (e.g. freshwater pearl mussel)  Monitoring programmes and mitigation measures
  9. UCD – February 2004 Clients and projects  Harbour developments

     Bridges  Roads and housing developments  Offshore wind farms  Aquaculture  Marinas  Aggregation extraction  Oil and gas  Sewage treatment  Power stations
  10. UCD – February 2004 Environmental Impact Assessments  Three key

    questions:  What is the existing environment?  Context - extent and magnitude  Character - types of habitats  Significance - protected species/habitats?  Sensitivity - what is the likely effect of the proposed development  What are the likely significant impacts?  What mitigation measures should be proposed?
  11. UCD – February 2004 Project steps  Proposal preparation: 

    Technical specification  Literature review and existing data  Relevant legislation  Team and company expertise  Associates  Costs  Project awarded !
  12. UCD – February 2004 Rocky Shores Sandy Shores Estuaries Salt

    marshes Mud flats Sand flats
  13. UCD – February 2004 Beam trawl Biotope mapping Underwater video

    and diving Core sampling Grab sampling Seine netting
  14. UCD – February 2004 Survey design • Representative of study

    area • Replication • Control sites (comparable, sufficient) • Type of design (BACI – before, after, control, impact) • Interspersion • Logical to allow inferences about impacts • Seasons
  15. UCD – February 2004 Mapping and classification for EIAs 

    Coupled with more traditional sampling enables assessment of:  extent and range of biotopes (area and geographic extent)  presence of rare species or protected species  Enables comparison with similar biotopes from different areas.
  16. UCD – February 2004 After fieldwork.....  Lab work: 

    Sorting samples  Species ID  Water analyses  Sediment analyses (Particle size and TOC)
  17. UCD – February 2004 Data analyses  Data entry 

    Describe and plot data  Stats  Univariate, diversity indexes  Multivariate, e.g. PRIMER analyses  Mapping, e.g. MapInfo, ArcView
  18. UCD – February 2004 Report writing  Background/intro  Methods

     Results  Predicted Impacts  Mitigation measures
  19. UCD – February 2004 Case Study: Arklow Bank offshore windfarm

  20. UCD – February 2004 Considerations for planning a project •

    What information is needed? • What information already exists? • What additional information do we need to collect?  What do we need to answer the questions about impacts?  What information is legally required? • How long is this going to take? • When do we need to do it? • How much is this going to cost? (and can we do it cheaper than everyone else and still be cost effective)
  21. UCD – February 2004 Types of species and habitats likely

    to be impacted • Benthos (habitats, biotopes and species)  Baseline studies of the seabed  Baseline studies of the seashore where cable comes ashore • Fish and fisheries  Baseline studies seabed – demersal fish  Review of existing fisheries information • Plankton (zoo- and phyto)  Baseline studies • Marine mammals  Baseline studies • Birds  Baseline studies
  22. UCD – February 2004 Types of impacts likely to occur

    from the development • Loss of habitat and species  Loss of habitat due to turbines and bases  Are the habitats or species of nature conservation importance (locally, nationally, internationally) • Changes in hydrography  Alteration of currents  change in habitat  Changes in sedimentation  change in habitat  Changes in water quality  change in habitat • Alteration of habitats and species  Changes in habitat  different taxa colonising  Changes in habitat  loss of feeding or breeding grounds  indirect loss of species • Electromagnetic radiation from cables • Noise and vibrations from turbines • etc
  23. UCD – February 2004 Other considerations  Both phases of

    development • Construction • Operational  Are these impacts long term or short term?
  24. UCD – February 2004 Environmental Impact Assessment - Burtonport, Co.

    Donegal
  25. UCD – February 2004 Arklow Port dredging EIA  Estuary

    benthic survey  River macroinvertebrates (Q-values)  River lamprey found in samples (listed on Annex II of the Habitats Directive).  Submitted to ERFB for recommendation.  Changed dredging locations to avoid disturbance to lampreys.
  26. UCD – February 2004 Invasive plants in Dublin waterways Giant

    hogweed Heracleum mantegazzianum Giant rhubarb Gunnera tinctoria Himalayan balsam Impatiens glandulifera Japanese knotweed Fallopia japonica
  27. UCD – February 2004 Research projects

  28. UCD – February 2004 BioMar Objectives  Four main objectives:

     To conduct field surveys that map seabed habitats and communities in Ireland and UK  To develop an integrated methodology for mapping in the field  To develop a protocol to determine the sensitivity of marine communities to man-induced change  To develop a model for a decision making support system for oil spill emergency response
  29. UCD – February 2004 • BioMar project  1993 -1997

     900 sites in Ireland  1600 sampling stations • NI surveys  Littoral survey  Sublittoral • Marine Nature Conservation Review  1987 - 1997  10,000 sites in UK  Collation of previous data  Mermaid web site  MarLin web site                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
  30. UCD – February 2004 Field data collection methods • Standard

    data collection  Each habitat on the shore or seabed  Species lists and relative abundance  use of a semi-quantitative abundance scale (SACFOR)  % substratum data  Environmental variables data:  wave exposure, tidal stream strength, salinity, etc  Entry onto database  Analysis to provide provisional classification  Further refinement with additional data
  31. UCD – February 2004 Biotope descriptions  Standard format 

    Hierarchical coding system  Habitat classification  Wave exposure and tidal streams  Substratum  Salinity  Biological zone (depth or height up shore)  Biotope description  Characterising species  Distribution  Frequency of occurence
  32. UCD – February 2004 LR.YG

  33. UCD – February 2004 LR.HLR.MusB.Sem.Sem

  34. UCD – February 2004 alv

  35. UCD – February 2004 SLR.Asc .Asc SLR.Fspi

  36. UCD – February 2004 EIR. Ala

  37. UCD – February 2004 MIR.Ldi g.Ldig

  38. UCD – February 2004 LGS.L an

  39. UCD – February 2004

  40. UCD – February 2004 Lessons from Biomar  BioMar project

    provided us:  Broad experience of Irish marine fauna and flora  Tool for characterising, comparing, quantifying marine habitats and biotopes
  41. UCD – February 2004 European Research Projects  BioMar (marine

    biotopes)  MARS (network of marine research stations)  BIOMARE (Implementation and networking of large-scale long-term MARine BIOdiversity research in Europe)  ERMS (inventory marine species)  MARBENA (long term infrastructure for marine biodiversity research)  MarBEF (a novel approach to marine biodiversity)  PESI (Pan European Species Infrastructure)  ACES (Atlantic coral reef studies)  European Marine Research Information Network in Biodiversity ( management of websites and list-servers) Marine biodiversity research
  42. UCD – February 2004 Education and Outreach - Workshops -

    Conferences - Reviews - Newsletters - Educational material www.ecoserve.ie
  43. UCD – February 2004 PESI

  44. UCD – February 2004 Marbef wiki

  45. UCD – February 2004 Heritage Council Grants • Molluscs as

    indicators of pollution in rocky shores •Blind Shrimp
  46. UCD – February 2004 Finding work in the consultancy field

    Science degree  Basic understanding of ecology  Fieldwork skill and some experience  Awareness of literature  Report writing  Computer skills (word processing, spreadsheets, GIS)  Data analysis and interpretation  Working to time schedules Other skills  Statistical analysis  Taxonomy  Publications  Communication and networking skills  Financial management  Team work  Health and safety awareness  First Aid  Driving license  Legislation  Diving
  47. UCD – February 2004 Web sites of interest  www.ecoserve.ie

     www.epa.ie  www.npws.ie  www.cbf.ie  www.marine.ie  www.etenders.gov.ie  mailing-list, e.g. Marine-B, Algae-L, Marbef  www.stopdodo.com  www.earthworks-jobs.com  www.jncc.co.uk