Nearshore Hardbottom Monitoring Underway in Florida

CSA Ocean Sciences Inc. (CSA) is currently conducting six nearshore hardbottom monitoring projects in Brevard, Broward, Indian River, Martin, and St. Lucie Counties in Florida.


Nearshore Hardbottom Monitoring Underway in Florida

These projects, which typically include several years of annual environmental monitoring, are conducted under subcontract to engineering firms or directly with the Counties.

Nearshore hardbottom monitoring programs typically comprise of four primary tasks:

1) Surveys of permanent cross-shore monitoring transects, including in situ quadrat surveys and qualitative and quantitative video collection;

2) Sediment depth and hardbottom relief measurements;

3) Diver-mapping of the landward edge of hardbottom;

4) Aerial imagery interpretation, ground-truthing, and hardbottom habitat mapping.

Additional tasks may include pre and post-construction pipeline corridor surveys, pre and post-construction surveys of artificial mitigation reefs, and estimation of the extent of mitigation required via the Uniform Mitigation Assessment Method.

For several decades, beach restoration programs have been at the forefront of Florida’s beach management programs in order to restore sandy beach resources and protect upland properties. Environmental services associated with beach restoration and renourishment projects throughout the state have been an integral component of CSA’s Marine Science & Mitigation business line for over 30 years. These environmental services primarily include monitoring programs for nearshore hardbottom resources, which provides habitat, food, and shelter to a wide variety of invertebrates, fishes, and endangered sea turtles and also helps protect coastlines from erosion and storm surge by dissipating wave energy.

To date, CSA has surveyed approximately 375 monitoring transects, performed over 3,000 in situ quadrat surveys, and diver-mapped approximately 100 miles of the landward edge of hardbottom associated with beach restoration projects in Florida. Continuation of current projects will take place in summer 2014 to coincide with macroalgal growing season and periods of visibility in nearshore waters along Florida’s east coast.

Press Release, April 04, 2014; Image: CSA