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Return to: 2004 News Releases

BERRYMAN & HENIGAR ASSESSING NORTHERN TAMPA BAY WETLAND HEALTH CONDITIONS FOR WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICT

TAMPA, FL, May 24, 2004 -- Berryman & Henigar has been contracted by the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) to assess regional wetland health conditions in the Northern Tampa Bay area. Scott Kvandal, president of Berryman & Henigar, made the announcement.

The project is known as the 'Five-Year Wetland Assessment' because SWFWMD will repeat the study at five-year intervals to monitor environmental changes following the implementation of a wetland recovery plan. More than 400 wetlands in three counties -- Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco -- will be visited by Berryman & Henigar scientists and engineers to update a regional wetlands health study performed by SWFWMD staff in 1997-1998.

Dr. Ted Rochow, senior environmental scientist and project manager for SWFWMD, said Berryman & Henigar will be implementing four principal tasks during the one-year study: database development and site selection; wetland health field evaluations; database management; and a data analysis and summary report.

Dan Schmutz, senior environmental scientist and project manager for Berryman & Henigar, said there a number of spatial gaps where wetland health remains poorly known in the region, and expansive areas of wetlands are not regularly monitored.

"We'll be transferring existing SWFWMD data from hard copy maps to a spatially-referenced GIS database, selecting sites not currently monitored, and documenting current field conditions using a standard wetland assessment protocol" Schmutz said. "Because the wetland health evaluation will be focused on impacts related to groundwater production, a study area boundary will be designated to limit the wetland selection process to those sites occurring within a reasonable distance from a wellfield or active production well. Our final products will include a comprehensive GIS database and maps displaying historical and current wetland health conditions throughout the region."

Schmutz added that each wetland will be evaluated by both an engineer familiar with landscape alterations that can affect wetland hydrology, and an environmental scientist with knowledge of the identification and ecology of wetland plants, as well as experience with natural and altered wetlands in southwest Florida.

Berryman & Henigar provides municipal management consulting, civil engineering, land surveying, environmental science, public finance, building safety, asset management, and program and construction management to public agencies. Further information is available on the Web at www.bhiinc.com.

Return to: 2004 News Releases