Professional Environmental Associates (PEA) provides a full range services covering all components of the ecological environment. In addition, PEA has been recognized as a major leader in wetland studies, their experience beginning in the early 1970’s.
For the last twenty (20) years, PEA has processed an average 100 wetlands projects per year. Almost everyone one of these projects required one or more permits or other approvals under 1) Section 404 and 10 the Federal Clean Water Act, 2) New Jersey’s regulatory programs including a) Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act, b) Waterfront Development Act, c) Tidal Wetlands Act, d) Highlands Water Quality Protection and Management, e) Pinelands Protection Act, and f) Coastal Area Facility Review Act (CAFRA) and 3) other States’ regulatory programs.
- Wetland Identification and Classification
- Wetland Delineation
- Wetland Functional Value Assessment
- Wetland Impact Assessment
- Wetland Mitigation including Creation and Enhancement
- Field Supervision of Wetland and Upland Habitat Creation
- Wildlife Studies
- Contamination/Toxicology Studies
- Regulatory Permits and Approvals
- Expert Testimony
WETLAND IDENTIFICATION AND CLASSIFICATION
PEA staff includes botanists, zoologists and field biologists highly knowledgeable in vegetation taxonomy, habitat preferences and functional assessment. They are very familiar with the multitude of existing wetland definitions and classification systems and have worked in freshwater, marine and estuarine environments.
WETLAND FUNCTIONAL VALUE ASSESSMENT
These are available several methods for assessing Wetland Functional value, all of which the staff of PEA are intimately familiar with and have used in the past. The most widely used ones include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Habitat Evaluation System (HEP), the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Method for Wetland Functional Assessment, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Wetland Evaluation Technique (WET), all of which have been applied by the staff of PEA.
WETLAND IMPACT ASSESSMENT AND STATEMENTS
PEA’s staff has extensive experience in assessing the impact of development projects, operations, other activities and contamination/pollution on wetlands, including aquatic and marine ecosystems. They have pioneered in the development of innovative evaluation and analytic techniques to identify and quantify effects on wetlands including the aquatic and marine ecosystems. They have been retained by private and public clients to assess impacts of developments varying from one single-family residence to 1,500 acres of residential/commercial development to major waterfront or coastal development to a 24-mile long interstate highway.
A major function of wetlands is providing wildlife habitat. PEA’s staff has extensive experience in conducting wildlife inventories by such methods as visual and audible observations of presence or signs of presence, mammal trapping, aquatic biota sampling, fish netting and shocking, hand collection, and other methods including scuba. Often our wetlands studies have required assessing the value of the wetlands for providing wildlife habitat including for Endangered or Threatened Species.
AQUATIC & MARINE ECOSYSTEM STUDIES
PEA’s staff has extensive experience in 1) determining the zoological, botanical and physical characteristics of aquatic and marine systems of minor and major waterbodies and 2) assessing environmental quality/habitat value and project or contamination impact. Inventories are conducted by such methods as visual and audible observations of presence or signs of presence of animal life, aquatic biota sampling, fish netting and shocking, hand collection, and other methods including scuba.
PEA’s staff has conducted ecosystem contamination/toxicological studies, especially in aquatic and wetland environments and Baseline Ecological Evaluation (BEE) for contaminated and Brownfield sites. This has included 1) identifying sensitive ecological receptors, 2) determining the extent of contamination of vegetation, terrestrial wildlife, aquatic organisms, sediment and the water column, 3) assessing acute or chronic toxicological impacts to specific organisms, 4) evaluating existing and potential alterations in food chains, food webs or the ecosystem on the whole, and 5) determining the extent and pathways of bioaccumulation.