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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

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  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

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  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

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  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)

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  5. UCD – February 2004
    Survey sites around Ireland

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  6. UCD – February 2004
    Environmental Impact
    Assessments

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  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

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  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

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  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

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  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?

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  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 !

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  12. UCD – February 2004
    Rocky Shores
    Sandy Shores Estuaries
    Salt marshes
    Mud flats
    Sand flats

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  13. UCD – February 2004
    Beam trawl Biotope mapping
    Underwater video
    and diving
    Core
    sampling
    Grab
    sampling
    Seine netting

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  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

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  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.

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  16. UCD – February 2004
    After fieldwork.....
     Lab work:
     Sorting samples
     Species ID
     Water analyses
     Sediment analyses (Particle size and TOC)

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  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

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  18. UCD – February 2004
    Report writing
     Background/intro
     Methods
     Results
     Predicted Impacts
     Mitigation measures

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  19. UCD – February 2004
    Case Study: Arklow Bank offshore windfarm

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  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)

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  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

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  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

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  23. UCD – February 2004
    Other considerations
     Both phases of development
    • Construction
    • Operational
     Are these impacts long term or
    short term?

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  24. UCD – February 2004
    Environmental Impact Assessment
    - Burtonport, Co. Donegal

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  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.

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  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

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  27. UCD – February 2004
    Research projects

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  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

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  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













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  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

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  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

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  32. UCD – February 2004
    LR.YG

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

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  34. UCD – February 2004
    alv

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

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  36. UCD – February 2004
    EIR.
    Ala

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

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  38. UCD – February 2004
    LGS.L
    an

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  39. UCD – February 2004

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  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

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  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

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  42. UCD – February 2004
    Education and
    Outreach
    - Workshops
    - Conferences
    - Reviews
    - Newsletters
    - Educational material
    www.ecoserve.ie

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  43. UCD – February 2004
    PESI

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  44. UCD – February 2004
    Marbef wiki

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  45. UCD – February 2004
    Heritage Council Grants
    • Molluscs as indicators of pollution in
    rocky shores
    •Blind Shrimp

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  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

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  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

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