CRI regularly gathers water quality information for use in environmental documents and as background data for more comprehensive field analyses. We are familiar with the various agencies and private entities that gather stream and estuarine data and we can compile these data sources, analyze raw data where necessary and present a summary of stream or waterbody conditions that is understandable to the layman.
Environmental scientists at CRI are skilled at performing water quality analyses in the field. Monitoring methodologies are typically based on the collection of chemical, physical, and biological data to evaluate overall stream conditions and sources of degradation. In tidal waters, CRI staff are experienced in field sampling, processing, identification (to species), and data analysis in accordance with protocols to calculate the Chesapeake Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity (B-IBI). For nontidal streams, the staff is trained in Maryland Biological Stream Survey (MBSS) procedures and CRI staff members are certified by MBSS in benthic macroinvertebrate collection, sorting, and identification to genus; habitat assessment; electro-fishing surveys; and fish taxonomy. All taxonomic work is conducted by staff with current genus level certifications through the Society of Freshwater Scientists, and CRI’s laboratory is overseen by a scientist with a current MBSS laboratory certification for processing of benthic macroinvertebrate samples. In addition to electro-fishing, CRI staff also has experience in alternate fish survey methods such as haul seining, trapping, and icthyoplankton surveys for migratory species.
CRI is well-versed in using both background research and field data to assess and analyze potential project impacts as well as the overall effects and potential sources of aquatic pollution. In addition, our staff has experience employing various metrics and indices of biotic integrity (IBIs) to evaluate macroinvertebrates and fish populations in relation to least-impaired conditions and to water quality and habitat.