EAI scientists and associates have extensive experience providing environmental monitoring, permitting and consultation services in support of the following types of projects: beach nourishment; coastal construction; inlet, harbor, and channel dredging; power plant and other industrial operations; land planning and development; stormwater improvements; utility corridor construction; environmental resource permitting; protected species management; habitat conservation planning; and conservation land management.
EQUIPMENT AND SUPPORT CAPABILITIES
EAI’s 2,100-sq. ft. Jensen Beach office/laboratory houses a variety of sampling gear for conducting biological, physical, and water quality monitoring. An assortment of plankton nets, bongo nets, gill nets, trammel nets, trawls, seines, push nets, suction dredges and benthic grabs are available for collecting fish, benthic macroinvertebrates, and plankton. Drying ovens, desiccators, and balances are available for determining the biomass of collected samples. Water quality equipment includes pumps and depth-specific water collection bottles, multi-parameter field meters, laboratory and portable turbidimeters, continuous data-logging rain gauges, and remote sensing temperature data loggers. Various grab and coring devices are used to collect sediment samples.
WATER QUALITY MONITORING
The Jensen Beach lab is also equipped with a Ro-Tap sediment shaker and a complete series of Tyler sediment sieves segregated by 1/2 Phi intervals. This permits analyses of sediment grain-size, either independent of or in conjunction with biological studies. Florida Department of Transportation proving ring penetrometers (ELE International CN970FL) are used to measure sediment compaction (shear resistance) in support of beach nourishment projects.
EAI has two boats for use in its environmental monitoring and research programs. A 25-ft. Parker is used to conduct resource surveys on the ocean and large bays, while a 19-ft. center console vessel is available for ecological surveys in more sheltered inland waterways. Additionally, numerous lightweight all-terrain cycles are available for conducting sea turtle nesting surveys and terrestrial fieldwork in otherwise impassable terrain.
TURTLE NEST PROTECTION
EAI possesses a Special Activities License (SAL) from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to collect indigenous marine plants and animals on a project-specific basis. EAI also possesses Marine Turtle Permits from FWC to perform a variety of sea turtle monitoring and research programs.
A variety of computer-interfaced stereo dissecting and compound microscopes are used to perform required taxonomic analyses of biological samples. These systems allow photographic documentation and collection of morphometric data for each species and facilitate electronic exchange of information with other researchers.
All of EAI’s PCs currently operate with current versions of the Windows operating system and are loaded with the latest versions of Microsoft companion software, including but not limited to: Word (word processing), Excel (spreadsheet), Access (database), PowerPoint (presentation software), Publisher (graphic layout), Adobe Photoshop (graphic design), and Acrobat (conversion of PDF files). These programs are fully compatible with other commonly used software, such as WordPerfect, Lotus 123, QuattroPro, DBase, FoxPro, Paradox, and others. EAI’s reports and databases can easily be converted to earlier versions of any of these programs.
EAI has multiple Trimble Geographic Positioning System (GPS) devices for use in the mapping of seagrasses and other submerged resources. All of these units are capable of sub-meter, real-time horizontal positional accuracy. Greater accuracy can also be achieved through post processing of the digital data using surveying software.
Statistical and graphic analyses are performed using Statistica (Statsoft, Inc.). This highly powerful software program is capable of performing the most complex analyses, including multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA), cannonical correlation, and time series analyses. All commonly used parametric and non-parametric tests can be performed with Statistica.
EAI is also equipped with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software and the related tools for powerful, flexible, and dynamic desktop mapping capabilities. The Jensen Beach office utilizes ESRI’s ArcGIS 10.4 software, including Spatial Analyst. This software permits the visualization of complex spatial information in simplified, easy-to-understand maps. By overlaying any combination of data layers, EAI can perform subsequent analyses to reveal otherwise obscure relationships, patterns, and trends in spatial data. Correspondingly, EAI utilizes GIS maps to express a number of different management scenarios and simulate their resultant impacts, which serves clients by streamlining and clarifying decision-making processes.