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Impact Assessments and Studies

  1. Fisheries and Aquatics
    1. Baseline Fish and Fish habitat Assessments    Read more

      Baseline data collections are an essential component of our work where development is proposed either in or adjacent to any waterbody. Fisheries sampling is completed by qualified staff under MNR scientific collector permits. Sampling equipment includes backpack electrofishers, beach seines, fyke, hoop, trap and gill nets, as well as minnow traps and egg traps. Habitat assessments follow standard stream assessment protocols.
    2. Fisheries Impact Assessments    Read more

      The impact of development applications on fish and fish habitat is assessed for each project. The potential impacts can include thermal, stormwater and sedimentation impacts, as well as loss of fish habitat and channel modifications. Part of any assessment is to determine site specific mitigation measures and make specific recommendations regarding buffers and setbacks.
    3. Federal Fisheries Act (FFA) Compensation    Read more

      NEA staff can provide complete services in regards to fish compensation projects and DFO authorizations. We have broad experience in all phases of compensation, from fish inventories, fish habitat assessments, determination of HADD's, preparation of baseline reports and fisheries compensation reports and can assist in development of compensation plans to create site specific compensation measures. We can also complete negotiations with DFO regarding HADD's and prepare the necessary documentation including screening reports and terms of fisheries authorizations. NEA can also complete long term monitoring, construction supervision and reporting required under DFO authorizations.

      We can assist in resolving violations under Section 35 of the FFA and designing appropriate compensation measures.
    4. Fish Population and Spawning Surveys    Read more

      Many projects require baseline inventories of lake and river systems where populations of specific species are of concern. NEA can conduct specialized spawning surveys for walleye, pike, muskellunge, bass and many other species using standard techniques and tailored sampling methods.
    5. Radio Telemetry    Read more

      Content to come.
    6. Dredging and Permitting    Read more

      NEA fisheries staff have a particular expertise in assisting landowners, developers and municipalities with dredging of shorelines and boat accesses. We are very familiar with policies and permitting required by agencies such as the Trent Severn Waterway and the Rideau Canal .
    7. Lake Capacity Studies    Read more

      Lake Capacity Studies are required by many municipalities for development along lakes, particularly sensitive lakes. NEA is experienced in the modeling and completion of the reporting required by many municipalities and Ministry of the Environment.
    8. Benthic Studies    Read more

      Content to come.
  2. Wildlife
    1. Baseline Wildlife Inventories    Read more

      Collecting baseline data on wildlife species is key to assessing their habitat needs, potential impacts and understanding their ecological function. NEA specializes in conducting baseline inventories of birds, herpetozoa and mammals using scientific methods and industry standard sampling methodologies. Thorough multi-season inventories are completed for all projects. As well we can conduct ecological assessments for public agencies, private sector and municipalities.
    2. Wildlife Habitat Assessments    Read more

      Defining the key habitat characteristics and functions of a natural area and specialized habitats for wildlife can provide important information for land managers and approval agencies. NEA can complete specialized assessments for birds, frogs, snakes, turtles and mammals to define home ranges, territories, habitat characteristics and existing impacts. Defining the habitat for endangered and threatened species requires knowledge of the species breeding, seasonal and diurnal habits and understanding of MNR policies for defining habitat under the Endangered Species Act and federal Species At Risk Act.
    3. Breeding Bird Surveys    Read more

      Standard provincial, national and international protocols are used to conduct breeding bird surveys. Our bird experts can conduct inventories of sites using approved techniques such as point counts, Marsh Monitoring Program, Forest Bird Monitoring, Grassland Bird Surveys, loggerhead shrike surveys, heronry surveys and specialized surveys for specific species such as hawks, owls, herons and Species At Risk.
    4. Amphibian Surveys    Read more

      Amphibian surveys are an important part of multi-season inventories for developments. NEA can design and complete specialized spring and summer surveys for amphibians, including surveys utilizing the Marsh Monitoring Program protocols.
  3. Plants and Vegetation
    1. Baseline Vegetation Inventories    Read more

      Our staff of expert botanists can tailor vegetation surveys, Species At Risk assessments or community mapping to suit projects. Baseline inventories for natural areas, conservation lands, private lands and projects sites can be completed using standard survey methods. Quadrat sampling, transects, forest inventories and tree assessments are some of the techniques used.
    2. Ecological Land Classification    Read more

      NEA uses trained staff to conduct Ecological Land Classification for Southern Ontario for all projects in that area. ELC coding is transferable to most conservation authority databases and is the industry standard. Forest Ecosystem classification systems for central, northeastern and northwestern Ontario are also utilized.
    3. Plant Salvage Plans and Monitoring    Read more

      Preparation of plant salvage plans, transplanting and monitoring programs can be designed for specific projects where provincially or regionally rare plants are at issue. Our qualified staff has completed plant salvage plans that were accepted by regulatory agencies and successfully transplanted a variety of plant species from ferns to orchids.
    4. Lichen Surveys    Read more

      Lichens are unique plants found in a variety of habitats, many of these species are very specialized and require expertise to identify. NEA can complete specialized surveys and address issues related to species-at-risk (eg. Flooded jellyskin, Leptogium rivulare) or significant habitats.

      Flooded Jellyskin (a lichen)


      Flooded jellyskin (Leptogium rivulare) is a semi-aquatic lichen species (Brodo et al, 2001). It has a very unique habitat found primarily at the margins of seasonal (vernal) pools growing on the bases of trees and rocks between the high and low water lines.  It has been found in nine (9) locations in Canada (8 Ontario, 1 Manitoba).  Seven (7) of these localities are still known to support populations. Because of this restricted habitat requirements and its genuine rarity this species was given a Threatened status by COSEWIC in 2004 (COSEWIC, 2004).

      Pale-bellied Frost Lichen (a lichen)

      Pale-bellied Frost Lichen (Physconia subpallida) is an epiphyte found growing on hardwood trees. There appears to be an affinity to Ironwood (Ostrya virginiana) but is has also been found growing historically on old fence rails, American elm (Ulmus Americana), and Ash (Fraxinus sp.). Historically it has been found near Brighton, Belleville, Brittania and Ottawa but is now limited to three populations in Eastern Ontario in Lanark and Renfrew Counties. It is mainly found in undisturbed mature forests. Population trends show that this lichen has decreased dramatically due to the loss of habitat (i.e. loss of elms due to disease, cutting of old growth hardwood forests, and increased air pollution). Because of these impacts and its genuine rarity this species was given an Endangered status by COSEWIC in 2009.

© Niblett Environmental Associates Inc.

© Niblett Environmental Associates Inc.