All posts by Francesca Fourney

Benthic Assessment and Resource Survey

Pinnacle conducted a benthic assessment and resource survey in the City of Riviera Beach, FL. The objective of the benthic assessment and resource survey was to delineate and map benthic habitats in the survey area including seagrass and hardbottom, and to identify and quantify resources occurring in these habitats. The benthic assessment survey identified benthic habitats and associated marine resources in vicinity of the proposed project which could be impacted by dredging and dredging related activities. Multiple surveys of the area were conducted from September 2016 to January 2017.

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Oceanographic Instrument Deployment and Data Collection

Deployed instrumentation in Broward County, FL to collect hydrographic field measurements regarding tides, currents, depth, waves, and velocity. The initial instrument deployment occurred in July 2016 and continued for 30 days. A second set of instruments were deployed from 15 December 2016 to 18 January 2017 to collect additional wave data. Instrument data was downloaded, processed and underwent in house QA/QC.

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Environmental Reconnaissance Survey

Pinnacle completed an environmental reconnaissance survey in Boca Raton, FL in January 2017. The survey was conducted in support of a Feasibility Study to determine the presence and identification of seagrasses and hardbottom resources occurring in the area. The survey area included the property’s bulkhead and an area that extended out 100 feet toward the ICWW; a total of 260 feet of the bulkhead/property line was surveyed. Seagrasses, hardbottom habitats, and stony corals observed within the survey area were identified and mapped.

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Coral Relocation & Monitoring

Pinnacle completed coral relocation and baseline monitoring in Miami, FL in October 2014. Field monitoring was initiated on 14 November 2016 and completed on 1 December 2016. One hundred and twenty-nine relocated coral colonies and 49 reference corals were tagged for monitoring. Tagged corals included a total of 22 different species of relocated corals (15 scleractinian and seven (7) octocoral). Monitoring data including: coral location, colony size, percent of live tissue, overall health, and attachment success (attached, loose, or missing) was recorded for each of the tagged corals.

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Beach Nourishment Hardbottom Monitoring

Pinnacle completed biological monitoring associated with a beach nourishment project in Hillsboro/Deerfield Beach, FL. Nearshore hardbottom habitat was mapped, sediment depth and cover was measured, and percent cover of benthic macroinvertebrate and macroalgal communities along previously established shore perpendicular transects in and adjacent to the project area was collected. Field activities were conducted from 19 August 2016 through 19 September 2016. Monitoring data was used to complete a Post-Construction Survey Report.

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Habitat Characterization and Mapping

Pinnacle characterized and mapped seagrass and hardbottom habitat in Lake Worth Lagoon in support of a pre-dredging permit. The objective of the benthic assessment and resource survey was to delineate and map benthic habitats throughout the entire survey area including seagrass and hardbottom habitats, to identify and quantify resources occurring in these habitats, and to collect stony coral size data. The benthic assessment survey identified benthic habitats and associated marine resources in vicinity of the proposed project which could be impacted by dredging and dredging related activities. Surveys were conducted from 13 June through 8 July 2016 with additional field surveys conducted from 1 through 13 September 2016. Florida Unified Mitigation Assessment Methodology (UMAM) Forms Part 1 (Qualitative Description) and Part 2 (Quantitative Description) were completed for each habitat type delineated during the assessment survey.

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Living Shoreline

Completed habitat maintenance and invasive species removal of the living shoreline at a freshwater lake in Boynton Beach, FL. Invasive exotics were initially treated December of 2014 and remaining exotics and habitat maintenance was completed 16 January 2015. Vegetative and invasive growth was monitored and treated as necessary. Initiated a monthly water monitoring program to ensure the lakes continued success along with exotic species removal, and transplanting of native plants, through summer 2016.

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Benthic Resources and Seawall Assessment

Pinnacle conducted a benthic assessment and seawall survey in Miami-Dade County, FL in May of 2016. Conducted in situ identifications of marine resources, delineated, mapped and quantified corals and other marine resources in support of planning and environmental permit requirements. A total of 536 coral colonies (328 scleractinians and 208 octocorals) were mapped and identified during the benthic and encrusting organisms surveys.

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Benthic Assessment and Seagrass Survey

This assessment survey was conducted from June to July 2015 to support permit requirements with the instillation of a rock revetment and floating dock at a marina in Miami-Dade County, FL. The purpose of the pre-construction survey was to identify marine resources that may be impacted during construction related activities and to identify and delineate resources for avoidance and potential relocation. Data analysis included mapping of marine resources including hard corals, soft corals, and seagrasses, and determining seagrass density and percent cover.

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Coral Relocation and Seagrass Restoration – Dredge Project

Pinnacle’s staff was afforded the responsibility of providing environmental oversight, quality control and quality assurance for a dredge project in Miami-Dade, Florida. Pinnacle’s scientific dive team worked with a network of marine environmental contractors. Field activities occurred from 2011 to 2015. Permanent monitoring stations were established in different habitats occurring along the ship channel. Habitats were delineated and mapped using DGPS and identified as essential fish habitat (EFH) and/or resources of particular concern. The dredge project included the restoration of more than 16 acres of sea grass in Biscayne Bay and the creation of over nine acres of artificial reef. As mitigation for anticipated impacts to existing resources, hard coral relocation was required. Coral colonies measured 10 to 25+ cm.  Pinnacle’s team played a critical role in developing and implementing many of the protocols used for this project. Pinnacle’s team has successfully relocated over 10,000 scleractinian corals, octocorals and sponges. Additionally, Pinnacle was tasked with ensuring field methods and data collected met the requirements of the environment resource permits and followed critical quality control protocols.