We focus on the scientific and technical aspects of natural resource management, which is inherently complex. We support our clients by balancing resource conflicts in meeting their project and program goals. Our core services include all aspects of natural resource management, environmental assessments, permitting, and habitat restoration/site construction.
Our experienced team employs an interdisciplinary approach and implements creative solutions to ensure that E&E remains a trusted advisor to our clients, regulatory agencies and the communities in which we work. Our scientists have been involved in projects ranging from minor design to large-scale Project Development and Environment (PD&E) studies and complex design-build projects. We regularly team with planning, engineering, and construction firms and take pride in doing our part to keep projects on-time and on-budget by working efficiently and proactively. Our success is grounded in a thorough understanding of regulations pertaining to natural resources, long-term relationships with regulatory agencies, and demonstrated experience supporting some of Florida’s largest infrastructure initiatives.
• Restoration Planning and Management
• Living Shorelines and Coastal Recovery Treatments
• Wetland and Riparian zone restoration and construction
• Habitat/Shoreline Assessment and Mapping
• Endangered Species Act (ESA) Consultation
• Threatened and Endangered Species Surveys
• Gopher Tortoise Relocation
• Essential Fish Habitat Assessment
• Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Studies
• Seagrass, Hardbottom and Coral Surveys
• Regulatory Agency Coordination and Permitting
• Wetland Delineation and Impact Assessment
• Wetland Mitigation Planning, Design, and Monitoring
• Permit Compliance Monitoring and Issue Resolution
• GIS Mapping and Analysis
• Drone Aerial Data Collection
• Habitat Mapping and Classification
• National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Compliance
• Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPP)
• Stormwater Management Inspection
• BMP Design and Implementation
E&E staff provided coastal environmental support services for the rehabilitation (bulkhead and armoring) of three military test facilities situated within the lower beach zone of Santa Rosa Island (a barrier island) to further stabilize and protect the coastal facilities. The beach nourishment component of this project included two beach segments totaling approximately 2.5 miles in length. Coastal environmental support services performed include federal/state wetland permitting, threatened and endangered species assessments, surveys, permitting/agency coordination, NPDES inspection, reporting, and dune plantings along the back-berm profile of the beach template. Our biologists, approved as shorebird monitors by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), played a significant role in monitoring the nesting status of shorebirds allowing construction to continue unimpeded. Nest activity status and egg counts were communicated daily using near real-time GPS results in GIS to provide accurate location maps and applicable buffers for site project.
Broadband Linking the American Samoa Territories Submarine Fiber Optic Cable System
Under a grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Utility Service’s (RUS) Program funded a submarine fiber optic cable (SFOC) system to provide high-capacity fiber optic data transmission on and between the outlying islands of Manu’a, Aunu’u, and Tutuila. As a designated non-federal representative by the USDA/RUS, E&E professionals conducted the Section 7 consultation under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), to produce a Biological Assessment with the Pacific Islands Regional Office (PIRO) of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). This was one of the first Biological Assessments on newly designated, federally threatened corals. Additional consultation included an essential fish habitat (EFH) assessment of managed species and Habitat Areas of Particular Concern (HAPC). Our expedited effort to conclude ESA/EFH consultation allowed the project team to meet the construction schedule before expiration of funds. E&E scientists assisted with all environmental permitting with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Subsequently, our scientists provided third-party environmental oversight during cable laying operations at sea and inshore landing points to observe, consult, and document compliance with all permit conditions .
For Colonial Beach Nesting Bird Habitat
The St. George Island Bridge Causeway is a 32 acre, 1.3 mile-long spoil island that formerly supported a bridge connection between the St. George Island and Eastpoint, FL on the mainland. Following the decommissioning of the bridge in 2004, the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve (ANERR) assumed management the island, which supports a large colony of seabirds and shorebirds of statewide significance and designated as a Critical Wildlife Area (CWA) by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Under grant from the NFWF Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund for Comprehensive Panhandle Coastal Bird Conservation, Audubon Florida, our staff worked tirelessly to address a number of growing management concerns related to protection of seabird nesting habitat on the island. The main elements of concern included areas of severely eroding seawalls, loss of nesting substrate, permanent signage along the perimeter indicating the island as a CWA, and developing an engineered solution to prevent seabird chicks from falling off the edge of the seawalls when disturbed.
E&E scientists managed the overall project working with Taylor Engineering as a subcontractor to develop a broad range of alternatives for the planning and engineering portion of the restoration project. E&E staff developed cost-effective solutions for signage and chick barrier requirements and spearheaded the permitting efforts to stabilize four critically eroded sections of seawall with a combination of revetments and breakwaters.
Submarine Fiber Optic Cable System (GTMO SFOC)
The Defense Information Systems Agency’s proposed installation of a SFOC system is to develop communication services connecting the Defense Information System Network (DISN) node located at NAVSTAGTMO, Cuba to the DISN node located in Miami, FL. This project will substantially improve the long-haul communications between the continental U.S. and NAVSTAGTMO compared to the high-latency and low-bandwidth communications currently provided by satellites.
E&E’s senior ecologist led the effort in developing the Environmental Assessment (EA) and alternatives analysis for the overseas section and coordinated review of the EA for Naval Station Guantanamo Bay (NAVSTAGTMO), Cuba. All work was conducted pursuant to NEPA including the Record of Negative Decision (RoND) for the U.S. Navy. On a parallel track, our project staff also led the joint environmental permitting effort with the FDEP and USACE to construct the proposed Guantanamo Submarine Fiber Optic Cable; this project was for a marine cable route approximately 1,450 kilometers in length connecting NAVSTAGTMO to the South Florida Ocean Measurement Facility (SFOMF) in Dania Beach, Florida.
Part of the Deepwater Horizon Early Restoration Program, this project included two components for the Navarre Beach Marine Park to provide increased access and recreational opportunities from the existing parking area to Santa Rosa Sound. The park is on Santa Rosa Island, which is part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore (GINS). Therefore, all wetlands and surface waters are required to meet the state’s Outstanding Florida Waters criteria including designation as Class II (shellfish propagation) waters. Coastal access and dune restoration consisted of designing boardwalks through coastal grasslands for beach access, a kayak launch, and enhancing one acre of dune habitat within carefully selected areas of the park complex. On the gulf side, a new pavilion, parking area, observation tower, and dune walkover to provide access to the gulf-front beaches were created.
E&E staff with expertise in coastal systems provided the ecological studies and habitat restoration design necessary to accomplish the project’s environmental requirements. Our project scientists obtained the necessary state and federal permits to accompany the bid package for construction. We worked with the Marine Park Director and FDEP’s project manager to address specific locations and preferred improvements in the restoration design that would enhance overall park aesthetics and supplement K-12 educational opportunities sponsored by the Marine Science Station.
Santa Rosa Island is part of the coastal barrier island chain extending along the northern Gulf coast and where Eglin AFB occupies a 13-mile stretch of this island for testing grounds. A new fiber optic system was required due to irreparable damage from the 2005/2006 hurricane seasons. E&E’s senior ecologist spearheaded the collaborative effort between the contractor and Eglin AFB Natural Resources section in sighting the cable path to avoid impacts to both natural and cultural resources. Additionally, our staff secured the necessary permits and Florida Sovereign Submerged Lands (SSL) authorization on a tight schedule without any project delays. Our project managers provided environmental oversight, compliance, GPS asset location services, and produced the GIS layout plans and As-Builts for the fiber optic network.
The Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary is considered the last significant mangrove ecosystem of its kind in Barbados and a major roosting area for native and migratory birds. The integrity of the Sanctuary was threatened by the continuous emergency sewage discharge from the adjacent sewage treatment plant. The principle task was to investigate the effects of the partially treated sewage discharge on the flora and fauna of the Sanctuary. E&E’s fisheries biologist performed systematic fish sampling, mangrove habitat assessment and developed a standardized methodology that can be used to reassess the onsite conditions and to objectively measure any trends and/or changes that might occur in the ecosystem as a result of the sewage discharges.
Under a grant from the RESTORE Act, The Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Department of Pasco County proposed the additional deployment of artificial reef material within the boundaries of the existing 12.9 acre Hudson Reef area in the Gulf of Mexico waters adjacent to Pasco County. E&E’s permitting specialist prepared the Alternative Analysis required under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act for the USACE permit application. In order to facilitate the selection of the proposed and alternative sites, our GIS analyst performed a Habitat Suitability Analysis based on substrate, submerged aquatic resources, accessibility, proximity to other reefs and navigation.