Natural Resource Assessment & Management
Natural resources are ecological assets that can be damaged, restored, or permanently protected. When natural resources are damaged or if they degrade over time, it results in the loss of ecosystem function. Great Ecology can assess the current condition of your site(s) and develop a set of site specific restoration and management strategies.Restoring the impacted environment allows natural resource services to return to baseline--or even improve above baseline conditions. Once natural resources have been restored and/or protected, natural resource planning and management supports the maintenance or improvement of ecological function over time.
Great Ecology offers a full suite of natural resource assessment and management services, including:
- Natural Resource Damage Assessment & Strategy
- Mitigation Banking Feasibility, Analysis, & Development
- Natural Resource Planning & Management
- Landscape Typology
- Ecological Assessment & Management Planning
- Biological Assessments
- Water Quality Analysis & Monitoring
Great Ecology also maintains a partnership with Eco Endowment Solutions for the financial management of endowments for mitigation bankers, conservation land managers, and land trusts. For more information on Eco Endowment Solutions please click here.
Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Strategy
Great Ecology provides Natural Resource Damage (NRD) evaluation and ecological risk support to clients by helping them address potential or actual environmental damages and related compliance issues. We provide support for litigation, CERCLA, OPA, RCRA, and other regulatory drivers. Our subject matter experts are highly knowledgeable about PFAs and PAHs contamination, toxicological evaluations, and ecological design and restoration of contaminated areas. We work with states and trustees, industrial companies, developers, and municipalities.
Mitigation Banking Feasibility, Market Analysis, Design, & Development
Mitigation banking describes a system of credits and debits that helps ensure that lost ecological function caused by development is offset by the restoration, preservation, or creation of wetlands, streams, and habitat areas critical to special status species.
Before developing a site into a mitigation bank, we conduct careful due diligence to understand the client’s objectives and/or compliance needs, the marketplace, and the ecological fit and function of the land*. Based on this due diligence, we may create a habitat restoration plan, a business plan for the site or a fixed price plan. This also includes evaluating opportunities and constraints of project sites and regional anticipated mitigation credit needs that ultimately inform investment decisions for land owners, mitigation bankers, investors, and corporate landowners.
Great Ecology prides itself on building relationships with: mitigation bankers and landowners to develop site reuse plans; regulators to facilitate the permitting and approval process, and entities in need of credits to develop streamlined mitigation solutions.
Natural Resource Planning & Management
We offer a variety of Natural Resource strategy tools; however, natural resource planning and management can also be typified by supporting long and short-term planning, including land acquisition, development of conservation easements, landscape typology, market assessment for mitigation bank planning, and more. Great Ecology has helped municipalities develop management plans for ecological holdings, worked with clients to achieve wildlife habitat council certification, developed ecological site planning for an international airport, and performed sea-level rise forecasting, among other natural resource planning and management projects.
Great Ecology developed Landscape Typology, a novel approach for land management that helps land managers and land owners better understand and manage their land assets. This includes GIS analysis, ground-truthing, analysis of ecosystem function, analysis of landscape type function, identifying opportunities for improving functionality, identifying opportunities to streamline maintenance procedures or reduce costs, and management planning. We can apply Landscape Typology to a single piece of property or to multiple properties, such as all parks maintained by a city or other municipality.
Ecological Assessment & Management Planning
Ecological Assessment and Management Planning allows landowners or land managers to better understand the condition of their ecological assets and plan for the preservation, enhancement, restoration, creation, or adaptive management of those resources. At Great Ecology, we utilize GIS; spatial and 3-D analysis; drone photo monitoring, simulation, and other forms of remote sensing; ground truthing; biological surveys; soil and water testing; and more to assess ecological conditions at our project sites. We then use this data to help inform the development of management manuals or other planning documents.
Biological assessments offer an opportunity to assess and analyze the overall health of biotic features in an ecosystem. This may include surveying overall flora and fauna or looking for particular invasive or threatened/endangered species, as well as examining plant communities, or using remote sensing tools to better understand vegetative communities. Biological assessments can help inform planning, permitting, and natural resource strategy, as well as provide both baselines and benchmarks for restoration.
Water Quality Analysis & Monitoring
Water is a vital resource to our well-being and is one of the most abundant compounds on earth. However, it is also uniquely vulnerable to pollution as a universal solvent, able to dissolve more substances than any other liquid on this planet. Water quality standards are regulated through local and federal agencies to protect our waterways so they can continue to support biotic needs. Great Ecology offers extensive experience with water quality assessment of key water quality parameters to provide data necessary to assess natural resource management activities, establish and achieve ecological benchmarks in support of restoration and comply with thresholds for regulatory permitting and compliance. We are familiar with water regulations such as the Clean Water Act, stormwater discharge permitting, Total Maximum Daily Load, and how to ensure compliance by performing measures such as benthic invertebrates sampling, dissolved oxygen and suspended solids analysis, and more.