Marine and estuarine ecology

Marine and estuarine ecology services are crucial for a wide range of industries and projects that rely on healthy and sustainable aquatic ecosystems.

A project’s marine requirements are often key to ensuring project milestones and budgetary expectations are met. Whether you are in infrastructure development, fisheries, aquaculture, renewable energy, or any other sector that depends on healthy marine and estuarine ecology, our experienced marine science team understands the regulatory requirements and how they can be met. 

Marine and estuarine ecology services

Seagrass and coral monitoring

Ongoing monitoring of the condition, resilience, and recruitment of seagrass and coral is typically necessary for projects that discharge into marine environments. Such sensitive biological receptors necessitate seagrass surveys and coral monitoring.

Dredge sampling and analysis

The National Assessment Guidelines for Dredging 2009 (NAGD) provide the management framework for the impact assessment and permitting of the disposal of dredged material. NGH designs and reviews sampling programs for characterising dredge material in accordance with the NAGD.

Marine plant surveys

Disturbance of Marine Plants is prohibited under the Fisheries Act 1994. NGH conducts marine plant surveys of areas containing or likely to contain marine plants. Surveys focus on identifying species of marine plants, the total amount of marine plants that will be disturbed, and the location of the marine plants to be disturbed in relation to the development works.

Benthic ecology surveys

Benthic ecology surveys can involve both sediment analysis of organic content in relation to discharge from aquaculture, or sampling of marine macroinvertebrates to monitor changes in species composition.

We have leading experience helping commercial fish and kelp producers thrive while maintaining environmental integrity.

Our aquatic ecology team conducts environmental assessments to determine the health and productivity of the aquatic ecosystem, and provides guidance on sustainable fishing practices and management strategies to maintain operations while minimising impact on the environment.

Our advice extends to the design and implementation of commercial operations including selecting appropriate sites, monitoring water quality, and ensuring the sustainability of the operations.

marine and estuarine ecology services

Marine ecology critical success factors for Australian offshore wind projects

Environmental impact assessments

Offshore wind projects can have significant impacts on marine ecosystems, including changes to water quality, noise, and the physical disturbance of marine habitats. Marine ecologist conduct environmental impact assessments to evaluate the potential effects of the project on marine ecosystems and identify ways to mitigate those impacts.

Site selection

The success of an offshore wind project depends on selecting the right location. Marine ecologists provide information on the characteristics of different marine habitats, such as water depth, sediment type, and the presence of vulnerable or protected species. This information is crucial to identifying the most appropriate sites for offshore wind projects.

Monitoring and management

Ongoing marine ecology monitoring and management of offshore wind projects is critical to ensuring that they are operating within acceptable environmental limits. For example, monitoring can be used to detect any changes in water quality, noise levels, or the presence of marine species, which can be used to inform management decisions to minimise impacts.

Regulatory compliance

Australia has strict environmental regulations that offshore wind projects must comply with. Marine ecologists provide advice and support to ensure that the project meets these regulatory requirements, including obtaining necessary permits and licenses.

Public and stakeholder engagement

Offshore wind projects can generate significant public interest and concern, particularly regarding their potential impact on marine ecosystems. Marine ecologists provide support to engage with stakeholders, including local communities, Indigenous groups, and environmental organisations, to ensure that their concerns are considered in project planning and management.

NGH is a renewable energy pioneer in Australia, having serviced wind, solar and hydroelectricity clients over the past 30 years. We’d be pleased to speak to you about your renewable energy project’s marine ecology requirements.

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