Wetland Delineation

Our Services

Wetland Delineation

This week we performed a wetland delineation in Whitley County, Kentucky to fulfill requirements under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act.

The wetland delineation in Whitley County, Kentucky was conducted by BSC personnel in support of the requirements of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA). Field surveys for the following determination were conducted in accordance with the 1987 United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Wetlands Delineation Manual (USACE, 1987) and the Final Regional Supplement for the Piedmont and Eastern Mountains Region (USACE, 2012).

According to USACE “This Regional Supplement is part of a nationwide effort to address regional wetland characteristics and improve the accuracy and efficiency of wetland delineation procedures. Regional differences in climate, geology, soils,hydrology, plant and animal communities, and other factors are important to the identification and functioning of wetlands. The regional supplement was finalized in 2012 and covers all or portions of the District of Columbia and 20 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia” (USACE 2012).

The determination within our report is subject to review and approval by the Nashville District of the USACE. As requested by the Nashville District USACE only the area within the vicinity of the proposed work was evaluated for the wetland delineation. As indicated in our report there was a small area that appeared to meet the soils, hydrology, and vegetation characteristics for wetlands as defined by USACE. See more of our services here.

Contact us today or request a quote.

References:

United States Army Corps of Engineers. 1987. Corps of Engineers Wetlands Delineation Manual. Technical Report Y-87-1, Department of the Army, Waterways Experiment Station.

United States Army Corps of Engineers. 2012. Final Regional Supplement to the Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual: Eastern Mountains and Piedmont Region, ed. J.S. Wakeley, R.W. Lichvar, and C.V. Noble. ERDC/EL TR 10-XX. Vicksburg, MS: U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center.

 

Wetland Delineation Kentucky
Wetland Delineation Area (in Background)

Benthic Macroinvertebrate Surveys

Benthic Macroinvertebrate Collection and Analysis

Benthic Macroinvertebrate Surveys

Benthic macroinvertebrate surveys and analysis is provided by our team of aquatic entomologists and biologists. Biological Systems Consultants’ macroinvertebrate survey team is equipped to take on all of your aquatic survey needs. Our staff is fully permitted and qualified to conduct surveys for the. If you have any questions about your biological monitoring compliance needs or programs, please give us a call and we will be happy to walk you through the process and take care of all your benthic macroinvertebrate survey needs. Contact us or request a quote today. See additional services here.

 

Benthic Macroinvertebrate Survey Collection Analysis
Benthic Macroinvertebrates

Nutrient Management – Soil Sampling

Nutrient Management – Soil Sampling

Nutrient Management and Soil Sampling for Biological Systems Consultants was recently conducted for a large soil sampling effort as part of a nutrient management and monitoring program. Soil is sampled every 1-2 years and analyzed for Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium.


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If you own or manage a farm and are interested in learning more about our experience with nutrient management in agriculture – Give us a call at (859)-263-4142 or email shaun@biologicalsystemsconsultants.com or Request a Quote.

Bioassessments & Benthic Macroinvertebrates

Waterfall / Step Pool / Stream Assessments

Bioassessments & Benthic Macroinvertebrates collections were conducted this week and we had to share some photos from the field during the macroinvertebrate surveys in Harlan County, Kentucky. The above average rainfall in May 2016 revealed breathtaking waterfalls in this watershed.

Waterfall / Kentucky / Harlan Co.
Waterfall / Kentucky / Harlan Co.

Biological Systems Consultants typically assesses sampling sites for Kentucky macroinvertebrates February through May in headwater streams and May through September in wadeable streams.

Waterfall / Biological Assessment
Waterfall / Biological Assessment

 

Waterfall / Step Pool / Stream Assessments
Waterfall / Step Pool / Stream Assessments
Confluence / Stream Pool / Bedrock Substrate
Confluence of two tributaries / Pool Feature

Spring Mitigation Monitoring

Spring mitigation monitoring has begun. This stream restoration site was permitted under the Clean Water Act using a Nationwide Permit. Natural stream design techniques were applied using a combination of Rosgen and standard survey practices using a reference reach. The restoration project has been successful in restoring fish and macroinvertebrate habitat, and has also been successful in the physical restoration of a more natural pattern, profile, plan-view and dimension. The macroinverebrate communities are highly diverse and minnows were found just below this area.

 

Stream Restoration Plan
Restored Stream Reach

 

Bioassessment
Minnow caught in net during macroinverebrate survey in restored stream channel.

 

 

 

Acoustic Mistnet Bat Survey

Acoustic Mistnet Bat Survey

Acoustic mistnet bat survey for the Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) which was listed as endangered in 1967, are provided by our federally permitted bat biologists.  Most state, federal, or local projects that require tree removal will also require a bat habitat assessment, mistnet and/or acoustical survey, or a protection and enhancement plan to protect the species and its habitat.

More recently (April 2, 2015) the Northern Long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis) was listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) due to the white-nose syndrome which has resulted in declines of the population. This species also requires absence or presence and habitat surveys or protection and enhancement plans for projects requiring tree removal.

Located in Lexington, Kentucky we provide all bat surveying services needed for complying with the Endangered Species Act requirements for these and other bat species.

Contact us today or request a quote.

Ecological Surveys

Ecological SurveyEcological surveys such as fish census or stream habitat assessments are necessary to provide data for assessing the current conditions of an ecosystem. A fish census provides a snapshot into the populations (i.e. diversity) of fish species within a segment of stream. A stream habitat assessment can provide insights into the current habitat conditions of epifaunal substrates, re-oxygenation zones, and embeddedness of the stream bottom. Using quantitative metrics these assessments can provide one time or on-going monitoring of these aquatic resources. Biological Systems Consultants’ team of scientists are familiar with various state protocols and routinely perform these types of assessments.

Clean Water Act

Our team of stream and wetland scientists can assist with Clean Water Act permitting and compliance with agencies such as the  Corps of Engineers. We can provide jurisdictional determinations for your property, tract of land, or project site. Once a very simple concept, is now a complex process. Located in Lexington, Kentucky we regularly consult with various Corps of Engineers Districts and can help facilitate your project. Can you tell which of these features below are considered jurisdictional?

Jurisdictional Determination Clean Water Act

Jurisdictional Determination Clean Water Act

Jurisdictional Determination Clean Water Act

Jurisdictional Determination Clean Water Act

Biological Systems Consultants performs ecological and environmental studies for Clean Water Act compliance, monitors and assesses water quality, provides hydrological modeling, and develops project alternatives such as watershed management plans that provide a balance of business objectives with agency requirements. Biological Systems Consultants also conducts wetland determinations and delineations, collecting information on vegetation, hydrology, and soils to accurately locate and define the boundaries of wetlands. Based on the results, we develop wetland mitigation strategies and to offset wetland impacts. We provide a full suite of stream and wetland mitigation services.

Biological Systems Consultants prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) and supporting studies for a proposed coal mine operation in Whitley County, KY.

The EA assessed the potential ecological impacts from the proposed mine site on endangered species, streams and wetlands, and archaeological resources on this site. These assessments provided the needed scientific documents to allow for permitting of the NPDES, Corps of Engineers, and SMCRA permits required to begin the operation. This project was found to provide an overall “lift” to the aquatic resources on this site which had been disturbed by pre-SMCRA mining. Our client was able to restore miles of abandoned highwalls and thousands of feet of streams that had been previously impacted. Natural rock and log vanes were used to provide stream habitat for macroinvertebrates and other aquatic life.

Ecological Assessments for Stream Mitigation

Habitat Restoration

Habitat restoration is an important tool for addressing a broad range of environmental challenges including providing permits for mitigation for streams using constructed wetlands. The BSC approach incorporates cost-effective design and build projects for the long-term management of natural resources by employing collaboration across experts from different fields ranging from biologists and ecologists to archaeologists. The site pictured below is currently in the early stages of restoration and are trending toward success thanks to some mitigation efforts and mother nature. Pictured below are restored stream channels, which are providing the revival of biological, chemical, and physical functions. Many macroinvertebrate and fish species have been observed throughout the sites; a great indication of restored habitat. Our experience covers a wide range of project development, from design to construction supervision and monitoring. BSC is also well trained to communicate with multiple regulatory agencies at the state, local, and federal levels. Our team has years of experience successfully negotiating agreements on restoration and permitting issues.

Stream Restoration

Mitigation 34