Lake and Stream Shoreline Surveys
Our staff conduct surveys on lakes and streams to document and assess shoreline conditions that have the potential to impact water quality and ecosystem health. These surveys are typically performed for lake associations to provide
a lake-wide assessment of the shoreline. Every property is surveyed for nutrient pollution, erosion, greenbelts, altered shorelines, and other relevant factors. Survey information is used to work with individual property owners to address any problems on the shoreline. Information about individual properties is kept confidential.
Aquatic Plant Surveys
We perform detailed aquatic plant surveys and assist with development of aquatic plant management plans for lake
associations and others, using survey results. These surveys are typically done lake-wide and provide information about invasive species, aquatic plant diversity, and fish habitat.
Our staff assess stream health by conducting aquatic macroinvertebrate surveys. Surveys provide baseline data and can detect changes from suspected pollution sources, such as sewage, stormwater, or hydraulic fracturing operations.
We perform wetland determinations to assess if a site
includes the hydrology, soils, and vegetation associated with wetlands. A determination does not establish a wetland’s legal boundary.
Project and Site Plan Review
We offer recommendations on site development concepts and plans to better preserve water quality through stormwater management, invasive species control, habitat enhancement, and shoreline, streambank, and wetland protection.
Stormwater Studies and Management
We work with municipalities to assess impacts of stormwater runoff on local water resources through inventories and mapping of stormwater drainage areas, inlets, outfalls, and treatment structures in urban areas. We classify landuse types and map impervious surfaces within drainage areas to estimate pollutant loadings to local lakes and streams.
Following surveys and assessments of the stormwater area, we develop comprehensive stormwater management plans. These plans are used to guide municipalities, associations, and others in efforts to reduce or eliminate stormwater impacts to lakes, streams, wetlands, and groundwater.
We provide recommendations on the type and design of
residential, commercial, and municipal stormwater best management practices (BMPs) including rain gardens, stormwater wetlands, pervious pavements, filter strips, and other surface runoff treatment methods.
Shoreline and Streambank Restoration
We assess shoreline and streambank erosion conditions on residential, commercial, and public sites, and provide
recommendations on riparian management and erosion control measures. Staff develop bioengineering plans to
restore eroding shorelines and streambanks, and apply for required permits for project implementation. Bioengineering techniques utilize natural materials including plantings, coconut bio-logs, and fieldstone to stabilize erosion and restore function to shorelines and streambanks.
We assist with project implementation by coordinating with contractors before and during installation.
Click here to see before and after photos of some of our more recent restoration projects.
Water Quality Monitoring
and Septic Evaluations
Lake & Stream Monitoring
Our staff monitor lake and stream water quality to assess impacts from development, agriculture, stormwater, discharge pipes, or other pollutant sources. Monitoring can include physical (e.g., oxygen and pH), chemical (e.g., nutrients and metals), or biological parameters (e.g., bacteria).
We assess the impacts of rivers and streams on lake water quality by concurrently monitoring all or select tributaries flowing into a water body. Water quality data is used to
determine pollutant loadings from individual streams, and watersheds are assessed to identify pollutant sources.
We monitor stormwater runoff in urban areas to gauge impacts on nearby lakes and streams. Physical and chemical water quality is monitored at stormwater outfalls to detect dangerously high levels of contaminants, determine
pollutant loadings, and more.
We perform septic evaluations on shoreline properties. Groundwater monitoring along the shoreline and dye tracers are used to determine if septic leachate is contaminating the lake or stream.
Greenbelt Assessment and Design
We assess existing greenbelt conditions and develop greenbelt designs for residential, commercial, and public shoreline properties. Designs include native grasses, perennials, shrubs, trees and ground covers, and accommodate recreational needs such as docks, walkways, seating areas, etc.
We coordinate greenbelt installations with a native plant landscaping company. Planting plans include species name, quantity, size, and other pertinent specifications, as well as recommendations for soil enhancements, invasive species management, and other site improvements.
Mapping and Natural Resource
We develop and print maps of lakes, streams, or other water features. Maps can be made for entire water bodies, individual shoreline properties, or specific areas. Any
information available can be included on the map, such as lake-bottom contours or survey results.
We perform natural resource inventories at any scale (county to individual property) to assist local units of government, lake associations, and others with planning efforts. Data layers available for inventory maps include wetlands, lakes, streams, landuse, soils, water tables, contours, roads, water quality data, contaminated areas, zoning information,
To address specific water resource problems or questions, we perform spatial analyses using geographical data.
Examples of analyses include examining landuse change over time and prioritizing land conservation for water quality protection.