Biological Assessment

EcoLogic assesses biological resources at project sites, designing and conducting habitat assessments to meet the specific needs of the client based on objectives, physical characteristics of the site, and requirements of regulatory agencies.

Fish and Wildlife Impact Analyses (FWIA). EcoLogic is approved by NYSDEC to complete Fish and Wildlife Impact Analysis for Inactive Hazardous Waste Sites, and our FWIA experience has spanned the state, encompassing a range of contamination sources and types, and ecological receptors. The FWIA is a step-wise evaluation of the potential impacts of environmental contamination on fish and wildlife resources that includes a review of existing and historical conditions at the site and then, if required, a contaminant-specific analysis of site-related chemicals and potential off-site migration pathways. Our staff experts characterize on-site habitat conditions, fish and wildlife use of the site and surrounding areas, and signs of environmental stress to gain insights about the nature and extent of contamination. This information is then used to determine potential pathways of contaminant exposure of fish and wildlife.

Freshwater Mussel Investigations. EcoLogic provides scientific consulting services to clients requiring qualitative and quantitative evaluations of freshwater mussel populations. These investigations have been associated with bridge construction and rehabilitation, flood protection projects, reservoir releases, pipeline crossings, and waterfront development projects. Our staff, led by Kurt Jirka, a recognized expert on native freshwater mussels in New York State, has designed and implemented surveys for threatened and endangered mussel species at sites ranging from small creeks to large rivers. Specific services include qualitative and quantitative mussel community surveys, mussel presence/absence surveys, habitat evaluation, relocation and monitoring of freshwater mussels, permit and license applications for mussel survey work, preparation of reports required by regulatory agencies, and consultation with regulatory agencies regarding potential mitigating measures.

Biological SurveysEcoLogic conducts qualitative and quantitative evaluations of the biota and habitats of specific study areas, often in the context of defining priority areas for protection or restoration. Our staff scientists have the field expertise and training to complete detailed surveys of aquatic, wetland, and upland habitats. We specialize in surveys of aquatic macroinvertebrates to assess stream water quality, threatened and endangered freshwater mussels, stream fish communities, and aquatic macrophytes. We collect data with a consideration for annual changes in hydrology and life stages of organisms, consult state and regional databases, and compile and review reports of other investigations. Data produced from surveys is used to characterize baseline conditions, evaluate the degree of environmental perturbation, assess impacts of invasive species, define priority areas within watersheds, examine habitat quality over time, and compare biodiversity among sites.

Fish Aging. Age data is often required for investigations of contaminant burdens in fish tissue. Ecologic provides fish aging services to clients requiring age and growth data for individual fish or fish populations. Most of our fish aging projects focus on providing age data for fish sampled for tissue contamination, with these data being useful for determining rates of contaminant assimilation in the fish species of interest. Our staff have extensive experience in processing and aging otolith, scale, and spine samples, and we use a double-blind approach to aging, utilizing two independent interpretations of age for each sample. We have experience in aging samples from over 20 species of freshwater and marine fish. If requested from our clients, we also provide back-calculated length-at age data based on measurements of aging structures.