At EAI, we are continuously providing innovative environmental management and monitoring solutions to private and public sector clients in Florida and beyond. Visit our website often for current updates on EAI projects, publications, presentations, awards, and other relevant news.

NSB Turtle Trackers

EAI’s Amber Stevenson oversees and coordinates the work of the New Smyrna Beach Turtle Trackers and they do an amazing job for sea turtles in Volusia County. The NSB Turtle Trackers are an all-volunteer staff of more than 20, who monitor the beach between Ponce Inlet and Canaveral National Seashore (10.9 miles) every morning for nests. All volunteers have completed stranding training and now assist in responding to injured or dead sea turtles as well. The Turtle Trackers provide valuable public outreach by conducting monthly educational talks and periodically staging at public walkovers to answer sea turtle-related questions. On top of this work, they have adopted a mile of beach and clean it four times a year, participating in the International Coastal Cleanup too. Our partnership with the NSB Turtle Trackers is very rewarding and we’d like to also congratulate them on their receipt of a mini-grant from the Sea Turtle (License Plate) Grant Program for the posting of educational signs on sea turtle nests. Our two photos show the Turtle Trackers at their Pre-Season meeting and Constance Darrisaw completing the marking of a nest.

Turtle tracker
New Smyrna Beach Turtle Tracker Constance Darrisaw marking a new nest.
Turtle tracker meeting
The New Smyrna Beach Turtle Trackers at their Pre-Season Meeting.

Martin County Lionfish Roundup

EAI once again participated in the Martin County Lionfish Round-Up held in June. This year EAI was a proud sponsor and fielded two teams of four divers each. Although we did not finish in first place…or second place…or third place, our teams had a blast and were happy to contribute to this worthy cause. The lionfish ceviche was a hit at the office too! Thanks to our boat and drone captain, Max Toebe, we have some fun video from the event! Click here to view the video.

Research vessel
One of EAI’s Marine Research vessels anchored up during the 2017 Martin County Lionfish Round-Up.
EAI divers catch lionfish
EAI divers with a lionfish caught!

Environmental Permitting Summer School - August 2017

Senior EAI staff attended the 31st Annual Environmental Permitting Summer School in Fort Lauderdale from July 18-21, 2017. The conference covered a variety of topics related to environmental policy and permitting. The EAI team divided and conquered, attending courses on:

  • Environmental policy
  • Energy policy and renewable energy expansion
  • Environmental resources planning, permitting, and conservation in coastal marine habitats
  • Mitigation assessments, banking, and policy updates for protected habitats and the species that rely on those systems
  • Wetland and stormwater management issues, innovations, and policy updates

Sea Turtle Nesting Season - August 2017

The 2017 sea turtle nesting season has been very successful with EAI documenting over 9,475 loggerhead, 3,200 green turtle, and 176 leatherback nests within its survey areas in Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River Counties. As peak hatching season approaches, please remember that hatchlings can become disoriented and crawl toward artificial light sources. Please ensure that no sources of light from your property are visible from or illuminate the beach at night. Problem fixtures can be shielded, redirected, modified, or turned off so that light sources and reflective surfaces are not visible from the beach. Additionally, close blinds or curtains at sunset and move lamps away from windows so that interior lights are not visible from the beach.

Click here to see what you can do to help sea turtles. For more information, assistance, free educational material, or a copy of your County’s lighting ordinance, please contact us.

EAI Summer Newsletter: June 2017

Bathtub Beach Renourishment Project

Martin County recently completed a project to replace sand on Bathtub Beach on the east coast of Florida. Beach renourishment includes the dumping or pumping of sand from elsewhere (i.e., sand borrow sites) onto an eroding beach often to widen the existing beach and protect public and private property. This beach renourishment operation included the dredging of flood shoal and navigation channel sand borrow areas and the placement of sand along a one-mile stretch of beach just north of the St. Lucie Inlet.

Because the beach renourishment process may affect wildlife, monitoring is required to ensure that protected plants and animals are not harmed during the construction process and that their habitat is not severely affected with the beach alterations. For this project, EAI continuously monitored the beach for sea turtles at night to ensure no impacts to nesting. In addition, EAI performed turbidity monitoring of the borrow area and beach sites during construction. During beach nourishment operations, the suspension of disturbed sediments increases temporary and localized turbidity which can affect the behavior and physiological functions of fishes and invertebrates.