AFFILIATED RESEARCHERS conducts bathymetric surveying and vibracore sediment sampling for NOAA’s Russian River salmonid habitat recovery project, Sonoma County, California.
The National Marine Fisheries Service of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NMFS) have joined with Sonoma County, non-governmental organizations and stakeholders to actively research and assess the ecological opportunities of reclaiming old gravel quarry ponds adjacent to the Russian River in Sonoma County.
The goals of this important project are to recreate critical nursery and rearing habitat for three species of Pacific salmonids that are Federal and State listed as threatened or endangered.
AFFILIATED RESEARCHERS was selected to provide hydrographic, geotechnical, and water quality services and awarded a contract from the Endangered Habitats Conservancy group (EHC), which is currently working with NMFS on this innovative program. The initial feasibility study is being funded in part with a grant from the California State Coastal Conservancy.
“This project has precedence setting significance for the recovery of endangered salmonids on the Russian River.”
– Michael Beck,President, Endangered Habitats Conservancy, San Diego, California.
During August 2012, in order to collect needed data towards this habitat restoration program, AFFILIATED RESEARCHERS conducted single-beam and multi-beam bathymetric surveying, vibracore sediment sampling, and water quality sampling at four off-channel gravel quarry ponds adjacent the Russian River. Total acreage of reconnected seasonal floodplain aquatic habitats is estimated to be nearly 400 acres.
AFFILIATED RESEARCHERS utilized its advanced single-beam and multi-beam hydrographic surveying equipment and software to collect precise, centimeter accurate bathymetric data at these four quarry ponds.
In order to collect needed data of sediment stratigraphy and the possible existence of contaminants, AFFILIATED RESEARCHERS utilized its vibracore vessel and Rossfelder underwater vibracore system to collect intact, discrete sediment cores at pre-selected GPS location at these gravel quarry ponds.
AFFILIATED RESEARCHERS utilized its centimeter accurate RTK-GPS to collect needed water elevation data to help determine the hydraulic connection of the ponds to the River Russian main channel.
AFFILIATED RESEARCHERS utilized its vessels and GIS-GPS capabilities to support NOAA Scientists with the collection of needed water quality data at the ponds, as well as terrestrial stratigraphy data adjacent the ponds.
In order to provide project Scientists and stakeholders an additional means to interactively view and analyze the findings, AFFILIATED RESEARCHERS compiled the data using Fledermaus, the industry’s most advanced 3-D “fly-through” viewing and data processing software.
AFFILIATED RESEARCHERS is scheduled to collect project data in the Russian River main channel, to support NOAA’s assessments of whether the old quarry ponds can be modified, and utilized to “…re-create ecologically productive off channel habitats…” critically important to the recovery of endangered salmonids.
“It has been really great to work with AFFILIATED RESEARCHERS, a professional firm that consistently over-delivers with high quality products using state-of-the-art and leading edge technology.”
– John McKeon, Natural Resource Management Specialist, NMFS, Protected Resources Division, Santa Rosa, California.
“AFFILIATED RESEARCHERS has delivered the high technical standards, practices, and professionalism necessary for success.”
– Michael Beck, President, Endangered Habitats Conservancy, San Diego, California.