Environmental Services & Habitat Restoration

ECE’s team of professional engineers, geologists and marine scientists has experience in environmental mapping, resource assessments and habitat restoration.  Nearly all coastal and marine based projects require some level of environmental resource management. In support of these projects, our services include qualitative and quantitative resource surveys (e.g. hardbottom, seagrass), shorebird/sea turtle protection and monitoring plans, water quality analysis, wetland delineation, impact assessments, mitigation planning and design and site monitoring.  Our services include NEPA Environmental Assessments and Essential Fish Habitat Assessments as well as the development of mitigation programs using the Uniform Mitigation Assessment Method (UMAM).

Much of the time, potential environmental impacts can be avoided through careful planning and monitoring.  For those impacts that cannot be avoided, ECE has the proven ability to development measures to minimize environmental impacts and develop creative mitigative solutions.  Our habitat restoration services include vegetated dune reconstruction, habitat islands, artificial reefs, and the like.

City of Naples 3.4 Acre Habitat Island

A 3.5 acre Habitat Island located in Naples Bay was designed and permitted by ECE.  The island is designed to reduce erosion of the existing mangrove shoreline, increase flows and improve circulation with an embayment and provide enhanced habitats for bird, fish and invertebrates.  As an added benefit, the island is designed to recycle sediments excavated from a nearby canal system for a sustainable solution.  In 2013, the project was ranked #1 for the Restore Act funding for Collier County.

Mason Inlet Habitat Island Restoration

A 10.7 acre spoil island was constructed along the ICW in New Hanover County, North Carolina for restoration of wetlands and mitigation associated with the relocation of Mason Inlet.  The island is comprised upland and tidal marsh areas, and two tidal channels which meander throughout the island.  The wetland and marsh areas were planted with Spartina marsh grass.  The project was constructed in 2004 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Jim Neville Preserve Spoil Island Restoration

ECE managed the large scale planning, design and permitting for the restoration of the 19-acre Jim Neville Preserve spoil islands in Sarasota Bay.  The restoration efforts were developed as mitigation to support the re-opening of Midnight Pass, closed since 1983.  The mitigation plan was developed using the Uniform Mitigation Assessment Method (UMAM).

Casey Key Geotextile Container Habitat Conservation Plan

ECE developed a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) and secured an Incidental Take Permit (ITP) in support of a dune restoration project using a sloped geotextile container system to protect 1,000 feet of critically eroding shoreline. The biological goal of the HCP was to maintain suitable sea turtle nesting habitat and to ensure nesting and reproductive success was not reduced as a result of the project. The HCP included mitigation in the form of a predator control program.

Leeward Channel Benthic Survey

Biological resources were mapped to locate, characterize and quantify benthic features within the study area. The data collected was used to support a 2.3-Mile navigation channel maintenance dredging design which avoids and minimizes potential impacts to hardbottom and seagrass communities. A Monitoring and Mitigation Plan was developed to measure and evaluate the biological changes within the project area for assessment of the long-term beneficial and/or adverse impacts of the project.

Casey Key Geotextile Container System, Sea Turtle Monitoring

In 2010, a prototype system consisting of a sloped geotextile container with vegetated sand placement to reconstruct the dune was installed to along 1,000 feet of shoreline. This project was the first of its kind in the State of Florida. Following construction, ECE implemented a sea turtle monitoring program to record and assess all nesting activity within the project area and a designated control site to quantify adverse and/or beneficial impacts, if any, on nesting sea turtles resulting from the project.

Flamingo Ditch Environmental Restoration

ECE designed and permitted restoration of a 2.3 acre stormwater pond to improve water quality and reduce flooding. In 2013, the project was constructed to excavate 8,500 CY of organic sediment, create a sediment sump to trap fine sediments as they enter the pond, install a pond aeration system to improve water quality, remove 0.9 acres of exotic vegetation, and stabilize the shoreline bank with a system of biodegradable geomats planted with native vegetation.

Mangrove Mapping, Private Developer

The ECE Team provided environmental mapping for a 9 acre site to support a private resort development. The data collected was used to refine the site civil and infrastructure design to minimize impacts to mangroves and other environmental sensitive species.

Private Beach-Lagoon System Environmental Assessment

Benthic and terrestrial habitat mapping and protected species surveys were conducted to support the design and construction of a beach-lagoon system for a private low denstiy tourist destination.   The Project’s design incorporates the use of natural, local construction materials as well as native vegetation to ensure the development blends in with the surrounding environment and ehance biodiversity. 

Wetland Mapping, Private Developer, St Lucia

Mapping of a 132 acre site was conducted to locate, characterize and quantify wetland vegetation and habitat. The work was conducted in support of the resort development. As part of the resort master planning efforts, ECE determined that over 23 acres of previously wet and/or flood prone land may be recovered for development while protecting for the existing mangrove wetlands.

Salt Cay Island-Wide Habitat Mapping

Extensive field investigations and habitat mapping were conducted in support of a 132 acre planned resort development. The work included topographic and hydrographic surveys, marine mapping of salinas, terrestrial and wetland ecological mapping, bird count and benthic surveys of the nearshore areas. The data collected was used to develop the Master Plan for the island-wide resort development as well as an Environmental Impact Assessment.

Port Royal Canal Dredging Habitat Mapping

Benthic and terrestrial habitat mapping and sampling was conducted in support of a maintenance canal dredging project for the City of Naples. The work included mapping, characterizing and quantifying benthic and wetland resources including seagrass, oyster reef and mangroves. In addition, ECE conducted macro-invertabrate sampling and water quality sampling in support of the project. A habitat impact assessment was prepared to procure the Federal and State permits.

Walkin Marina Benthic Survey

A benthic resource survey was conducted for this 1.5 acre marina basin to locate, characterize and quantify hardbottom features in support of maintenance dredging. An avoidance and relocation plan was developed to ensure no adverse impacts to hard coral species.