Bear Creek Environmental, in partnership with another consulting firm, has conducted fish population monitoring in the vicinity of a large scale wind farm in northeastern Vermont. The purpose of the project is to monitor surface waters during the construction and early operation of the wind farm per requirements of the Section 401 Water Quality Certification issued by the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources.
Using an electrofishing unit, fish are stunned and collected, then counted, observed, measured, and set free back into the streams. These data allow BCE to track changes in fish populations over time and help determine potential causes for these changes.
Since Bear Creek Environmental was founded in 2004, the company has conducted water quality monitoring and biomonitoring for Winhall-Stratton Fire District and the Stratton Corporation. In accordance with their Vermont indirect discharge permit, paired station monitoring has been used to evaluate the biological community above and below two spray effluent irrigation sites.
Each year, Bear Creek Environmental monitors benthic macroinvertebrates with wire baskets filled with small pieces of granite (artificial substrates) using methodologies specified by the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation. Granite slides are placed in the stream and are collected to determine chlorophyll levels, a measure of primary productivity. All of these components combine to serve as indicators for overall water quality and help compare the aquatic communities above and below the indirect discharges.