In-water construction projects are subject to numerous regulatory permit conditions to protect aquatic life, particularly special-status fishes and marine mammal species. Construction activities that generate underwater noise, such as pile-driving with diesel impact hammers, may produce levels that are harmful or even lethal to fish and marine mammals. As such, the underwater noise levels associated with these projects are typically subject to limitations established by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).
Monitoring noise levels is routinely required in permits and authorizations provided by NMFS, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and requires the expertise of biologists or acousticians trained in hydroacoustics (i.e., underwater sound).
ECORP’s aquatic biologists are trained and experienced in all aspects of underwater noise monitoring, including working with NMFS, USFWS, and CDFW to delineate action areas for monitoring, preparing hydroacoustic monitoring plans, implementing underwater noise monitoring for permit compliance, and working with our clients to minimize underwater noise levels. Our staff are equipped with state-of-the-art underwater noise monitoring equipment for boat-based operations in inland, estuarine, and coastal waters. ECORP provides a full range of hydroacoustic monitoring services, from project planning and permitting assistance through implementation, data analyses, and reporting.
ECORP’s key underwater noise monitoring projects include:
- San Joaquin Area Flood Control Agency’s Smith Canal Gate Project
- Central Lathrop Stormwater Outfall Construction Project
- White Slough Stormwater Outfall Construction Project
- City of West Sacramento’s Raley’s Dock Construction Project
- San Diego Unified Port District’s Shelter Island Boat Launch Facility Improvements Project