Large scale projects such as marine waste disposal, effluent discharge, dredging activities and coastal infrastructure developments all require characterisation of the seabed ecological environment. Benthic surveys are necessary to identify the abundance and diversity of important or rare species in the receiving environment. This usually involves visual reconnaissance of seabed areas in advance of any site investigations to establish the presence of any relevant species and habitats. In many cases this is then complemented with a seabed sampling programme to further identify and quantify benthic species.
Intertidal surveys are required for a wide range of coastal projects, including offshore pipeline landfall sites, Environmental Management Plans (EMP) and marina or pier developments. This is because intertidal regions of shores and estuaries are under pressure from pollution, the introduction of invasive species and erosion due to developments, wave action and rising sea levels. Sampling methodology depends on the area to be surveyed and the state of the tide but often involves a photographic stills survey along a transect, with manual coring in-line with current guidelines.
SRSL are experts in designing robust survey plans with industry-standard methodologies to gain regulatory approval. Our epibenthic surveys are conducted with the highest degree of scientific integrity and all fauna gathered are identified and enumerated using NMBACQ accredited laboratories. SRSL analyse and interpret all data in-house using a variety of univariate, multivariate and GIS techniques.
Our service packages include full survey planning and management, laboratory analysis and technical reporting.