Ecological Studies

Professional Environmental Associates (PEA) provides a full range of services associated with ecology and ecosystems. The staff has developed and maintained an acknowledged capacity for conducting studies of consistently high quality including natural resource inventories, impact assessment and audits, environmental restoration and mitigation, resource planning and management, feasibility studies, development constraint analysis, contamination/pollution, toxicology and regulatory permits and approvals.

PEA has extensive training and experience in the terrestrial, aquatic, wetland, estuarine and marine environments. Preliminary and comprehensive studies have been conducted for specialized ecological reports or technical support documents and as major components of Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) and Site Assessments or Audits. The staff has participated on projects in New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Maryland, Rhode Island, Delaware, Virginia, Alaska, the United States on a national scale and internationally. Members of the staff are recognized as highly qualified and leaders in the field, by the academic and professional community.

NATURAL RESOURCE INVENTORIES

PEA has extensive experience in conducting natural resource inventories. Many environmental studies require such inventories, often as a first step in the sequence of environmental analysis, planning, and/or impact assessment. In fact, on-site inventories are frequently an integral part of most comprehensive environmental studies.

Our staff has capabilities for conducting comprehensive field investigations addressing aquatic, wetland and terrestrial vegetation, wildlife, foodchains or webs, and entire ecosystems. Inventory techniques we have utilized include visual inventories or identification, vegetation transects and quadrangles, wildlife trapping and netting programs, and aquatic sampling programs such as trapping, netting and electroshocking. We have also conducted specialized Endangered or Threatened Species inventories. All field studies are supplemented with literature reviews to place the work in historical and regional perspective.

PEA’s staff has education, training and extensive experience in:

  • Botany/Vegetation
  • Mammals
  • Fisheries
  • Reptiles and Amphibians
  • Invertebrates
  • Endangered or Threatened Species
  • Benthos and Periphyton
  • Phytoplankton and Zooplankton
  • Pelagic Organisms
  • Algae
  • Crustaceans

These inventories have been associated with determining:

  • Species composition, density, distribution, and diversity
  • Biotic and abiotic interactions
  • Food chains and Bioaccumulation of Toxins
  • Habitat value and utilization
  • Acute and Chronic Toxicity
  • Impact Assessments on species and habitats
  • Baseline Ecological Evaluation (BEE) for Contaminated and Brownfield sites

IMPACT ANALYSIS AND MITIGATION MEASURES

PEA has extensive experience in assessing negative and positive impacts or effects on the natural and man-made ecosystems caused by residential, industrial, commercial, transportation or other facilities development or operations. Comprehensive inventories and early identification of potential impacts to sensitive and critical ecosystems or its components, are usually mandated by the regulatory agencies and forward thinking developers to properly plan and develop a project that melds into the natural environment, i.e. not significantly degrading it, while in some cases enhancing it.

As required by the agencies, PEA assists its clients in obtaining necessary permits and in project design to avoid impact if possible or to minimize impacts when it is not. When impact is unavoidable, PEA has developed mitigation plans when required by the agencies. PEA’s planners and engineers have frequently helped advance the state-of-the-art in the development of mitigation measures and plans and have maintained close coordination with the regulatory agencies, the client or developer and the project’s engineer and/or planner.

PEA has pioneered in the development of qualitative and analytical techniques to identify and quantify the effects or potential modifications to existing ecosystems. PEA draws upon a staff consisting of experts with over a decade and a half of involvement in environmental studies. We have produced a multidisciplinary team of specialists technically competent and capable of 1) assessing all aspects of any proposed development and the associated impacts and 2) developing measures and plans to mitigate impacts.

PEA has developed several plans and designs for habitat creation, restoration and enhancement especially for wetlands, upland habitats, lakes, ponds, and streams.

WATERWAYS ANALYSIS

The PEA staff possesses a wide range of experience in assessing the existing and future impacts on the aquatic, wetland, and terrestrial ecosystems, from activities along and within our waterways. Impact assessments have been performed for such activities as dredging and dredged material disposal, river or stream channelization, port and waterfront development and operation, and discharges to the environment either directly or indirectly. Mitigation through habitat creation and modification is often a factor in obtaining necessary permits or approvals.

ENVIRONMENTAL RESTORATION

PEA’s staff has extensive training and experience in the restoration and creation of:

  • Wetlands
  • Streams and Rivers
  • Upland Habitats
  • Wildlife & Fish Habitat
  • Old Fields
  • Ponds and Lakes
  • Forests
  • Specialized Habitats