Marine Survey and Oyster Relocation Services

relocation 1Marine Natural Resource Survey and Oyster Relocation Services

BIO-WEST conducted environmental investigations for a project near Alexander Island on the upper west bank of the Houston Ship Channel in Chambers County, Texas. Potential marine natural resources (i.e., oyster reefs) were surveyed in support of an agency permit review. BIO-WEST ground truthed a remote-sensing survey using substrate poling and dredge tows to verify side-scan sonar results and collected biological information on oyster presence. A report detailing the results and location of oyster reefs within the project area was produced for the client. BIO-WEST was additionally contracted to relocate oysters within the project area to reduce and minimize impacts to existing natural resources. Based on results from the earlier survey, a regulatory agency requested the relocation of existing oyster resources during construction of a powerline project. BIO-WEST prepared and obtained an aquatic resources relocation plan and a permit application to introduce fish, shellfish or aquatic plants into public waters. To remove the oysters, BIO-WEST modified a conventional oyster dredge with smaller mesh size to capture all oyster size classes and associated benthic organisms identified during the survey. Oysters and associated organisms were evaluated and documented for reporting purposes. The organisms were collected and moved to a location determined suitable in the Aquatic Resource Relocation Plan.