Marine Habitat Assessment Studies
POLARIS personnel have conducted numerous marine habitat assessment studies including: biological and environmental assessments, baseline and mitigation studies, and project impact studies. These studies have been conducted in support of marine construction and other projects in Puget Sound and the Pacific Northwest. Polaris personnel have conducted baseline and mitigation monitoring studies which involve:
- dive surveys of subtidal macroalgae, eelgrass, geoduck and fisheries habitats,
- beach surveys of intertidal macroalgae, invertebrate and fish spawning habitats, and
- sampling of epibenthic and benthic invertebrates.
The results of these surveys have been incorporated into Environmental and Biological Evaluations and Assessments of potential project impacts on marine and fisheries habitats, including potential impacts on Pacific Northwest salmonid species recently listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act. Some of these projects have also involved the preparation of habitat mitigation plans designed to compensate for these impacts, if required. In addition, Polaris has conducted basic research and other projects on cleaning techniques for oiled coarse sediment beaches, statistical analyses of survey data, and extensive literature research on marine habitats and organisms for incorporation into project reports.