Great Ecology is an ecological and environmental consulting firm focused on the restoration, planning, and design of both natural and urban environments through sustainable solutions. We integrate science with design to solve complex ecological challenges to achieve environmental, social, and business goals.
Great Ecology is leading the stream and habitat restoration of a 39-acre undeveloped site, which will become the centerpiece of the Iowa State University (ISU) Research Park in the city of Ames, IA. Our geomorphologist, ecologist, and landscape architects contributed to the ecological framework of the park master planning effort, led by WRT. The Great Ecology team will develop the detailed design for phase one construction of the Tedesco Environmental Learning Corridor. The future park will include walking trails, gathering spaces, environmental education nodes for school groups, meeting and laboratory/demonstration zones for the adjacent campus, and a restored stream system, wetland, and prairie landscape.
The existing stream corridor has been ecologically degraded, and presents an opportunity to demonstrate effective stream restoration in the context of the larger watershed and the regional landscape. Story County Conservation seeks to display innovative design elements at this site as a demonstration that will support and encourage regional advances in habitat restoration and park design. Our recommended conceptual strategy focuses on reconnecting the stream channel with its floodplain and restoring the riparian plant community to historic prairie condition
To address the devastating effects of the September 2013 floods to Colorado’s Front Range Watersheds, the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) partnered with the DNR Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) to help implement Phase 2 Flood Recovery through the Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP). Great Ecology is focused on revegetating impacted areas, including project design and implementation, as well as oversight for the increase and provision of riparian plant materials.
Read more about EWP in the latest Project News Release.
Great Ecology was selected by the San Diego Unified Port District (Port) to conduct a mitigation bank evaluation for Pond 20, a 95-acre undeveloped site and former salt pond. Located in South San Diego Bay, Pond 20 is an integral part of the Palm Avenue “gateway to South San Diego County’s beaches”. As a result, the project has been (and is) the subject of extensive stakeholder outreach.
The proposed mitigation bank will encompass the majority of the site and is the first project of a three part development plan approved by the Board of Port Commissioner’s in July 2015. To ensure the long term success, specifically meeting project goals of habitat restoration and economic development, the Great Ecology Team is providing an iterative, phased approach informed by our experience working as consultants for many mitigation banking companies. This approach allows us to quickly and efficiently identify ecological and financial constraints and opportunities.
Phase I is currently underway and includes an in-depth feasibility study of the 80-acre proposed mitigation bank. During this phase, we are analyzing and assessing the biological feasibility, economic viability, and the regulatory environment – all of which will provide Port staff information they need to move the project forward. Phase I is scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2016.
The project team is led by Great Ecology Founder and President, Dr. Mark S. Laska, who brings over 20 years of experience in habitat restoration and mitigation banking and provides support for many entities advancing mitigation banks in California and several other states. Additional leadership is provided by Director of Ecology, Nick Buhbe, who brings a 20 year plus career focused on Southern California marine and terrestrial habitats. Great Ecology’s extensive mitigation banking and habitat restoration experience is enhanced by a robust project team including RECON, ESA, and AES.