Estuarine ecology and assessments of proposed developments in brackish waters, transitional waters and estuaries is one of our core areas of expertise. Brackish water habitats and periodically saline habitats of estuaries and transitional waters constitute a variety of niche ecosystems and include lagoon habitats, which are listed as a priority Annex I habitat on the EU Habitats Directive (1992). The specialist ecological requirements and rich diversity often recorded within estuarine environments has resulted in a significant proportion of these habitats being designated as Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) or as Special Protection Areas (SPAs) for the conservation of birds. As part of the EU-wide Natura 2000 network, these sites are afforded protection at an international level.
ECOFACT are specialists in the area of estuarine ecology and hydrological assessments and our experience extends across the range of micro-habitats found in estuarine and transitional water environments. Project requirements in estuaries can often provide unique and significant challenges.
ECOFACT offers the following specialist services for estuarine areas:
- Ecological Impact Assessment for proposed developments within estuarine or transitional waters.
- Focused Article 6 Appropriate Assessment required for developments potentially affecting SAC or SPA sites or their conservation interests within estuarine or transitional waters.
- Digital habitat mapping including identification of sensitive Annex I listed habitats
- Water quality monitoring for baseline assessments or construction phase impacts
- Aquatic ecology, water quality and terrestrial ecology impact assessments for flood and coastal defense schemes
- Wastewater and licensed discharge monitoring and receiving water impact assessments for estuarine environments
Also see our research page on eels, which includes major surveys and research and the Shannon estuary in relation to European eel.