GEO’s ecologists work on projects that involve wetlands, streams, and wildlife. Mark Merkelbach is a professional wetland scientist that has over 17 years of experience working collaboratively with municipalities and land developers in Washington State.

Projects that involve wetlands, streams, and wildlife rely on correct identification in accordance with local, state, and federal delineation guidelines; accurate, high-quality assessments; and the understanding of how the wetland/stream system may affect future development. Equally important is understanding the current and potential impending changes to the federal regulations for wetland jurisdictional determinations under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. In response to these vital needs along with increasing government and public involvement in the use of wetlands, our firm has developed specialized expertise in every aspect of wetland and stream ecology and regulations.

Wetland and Stream Experts

We offer site-specific wetland solutions that are practical for you and approvable by local, state, and federal officials. Our team of wetland scientists, natural channel designers, hydraulic engineers, GIS specialists, biologists, and construction managers has experience on a wide variety of projects throughout the country; these projects involve wetland delineation, watershed and basin planning, site selection, dredge and fill permits, mitigation banking strategies, water quality/sediment analyses, wetland/stream restoration and relocation plans, and construction oversight. Throughout Washington State we know the issues, opportunities, and constraints of property that contain wetlands and streams.

Critical Areas Permitting

Wetlands and streams are regulated by a variety of local, state, and federal agencies. We regularly work with clients and agency staff to prepare the necessary permit applications and supporting critical areas documents for projects affecting wetlands, streams, and wildlife. In Washington State, multiple federal and state regulatory agencies joined forces to create the Joint Aquatic Resources Permit Application (JARPA), a single application form that can used to apply for more than one permit at a time. Local jurisdictions typically require project applicants to use permit application forms specifically tailored to the jurisdiction’s needs.

Typical permit applications and related documents that we can prepare for your project include:

  • Federal Clean Water Act Section 404/401 Permits
  • Federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) Section 7 consultation supporting documents
  • FEMA National Flood Insurance Program Habitat Assessments
  • WDFW Hydraulic Project Approval (HPA)
  • Shoreline Substantial Development Permit
  • SEPA Checklist
  • Local Jurisdiction Critical Areas Permits
  • Forest Practice Permit critical areas studies and ESA-listed species protocol surveys

Early planning and anticipation of needed permits and supporting information is the key to successful project completion! Our experience can help you foresee the schedule and information needed to accomplish your project goals and stay on schedule. This is our commitment to your project.