Projects

Dinkins Biological Consulting has conducted projects for industry, state departments of transportation, conservation organizations, and natural resource agencies. A few representative projects are summarized below.

Saturn Corporation

Spring Hill, TN (1986-2007)

Dinkins Biological Consulting was contracted to perform biological and water quality studies at the Saturn facility near Spring Hill, TN. In these studies, fish, benthic macroinvertebrate, and surface water samples were collected from three reaches on Carters Creek, two reaches on Titan Creek, and one reach on West Fork McCutcheon Creek and Cheshire Branch. DBC conducted seasonal surveys every other year from 1986-2007 to determine the facility’s impact on the creeks. DBC worked alongside Saturn’s environmental team to determine areas of great importance jeopardized by runoff and erosion. By considerably controlling surface runoff and implementing strict erosion control measures, the water quality and biological fauna of all the creeks were improved.

Obed River at Potters Ford Bridge

Catoosa Wildlife National Management Area, TN

Construction of a new bridge over the Obed River at Potters Ford in the Catoosa Wildlife National Management Area required an endangered mussel survey. Published and unpublished records indicated the historical existence of the endangered mussels, Purple bean (Villosa perpurpurea) and Cumberland bean (Villosa trabalis). Fieldwork at the Potters Ford Bridge construction site was conducted 16 and 17 November 2009. Fieldwork was conducted using skin and SCUBA gear in selected search lanes that ran parallel to the river channel. The survey revealed a total of one live mussel and one relic shell in the vicinity of the construction zone. No live federal protected mussels were found. A single live mussel found, Waverayed lampmussel (Lampsilis fasciola), was moved 250 feet upstream and repositioned into the substrate.

Federally Protected Mussel Survey in Line Creek

Fayette/Coweta Co., GA

Peachtree City’s Airport (Falcon Field) lies within the Line Creek water-shed. Two small, unnamed streams flow through the airport property and drain into Line Creek. Historically, Line Creek had an abundant and diverse mussel fauna, composed of approximately 25 species including three species designated as federally endangered: Shiny-rayed pocketbook (Lampsilis subangulata), Gulf moccasinshell (Medionidus penicillatus), and Oval pigtoe (Pleurobema pyriforme); and one species designated as federally threatened: Purple bankclimber (Elliptoideus sloatianus). The airport was considering expanding, and because of the potential presence of federally protected species in the direct and indirect impact zone of the expansion project, a survey for native mussels was conducted at the confluence of the two tributaries and Line Creek.

The mussel survey of Line Creek in the vicinity of the two unnamed tributaries was conducted using a timed search. Searchers began at the downstream end of the survey reach and slowly moved forward as they probed the substrate for live mussels and relic shells. Nearly all habitats were easily accessible because of the low water conditions during the survey period.

A total of 38 live mussels and three relic shells representing seven species were found in the three contiguous reaches of Line Creek adjacent to the two tributaries. Numerically, the dominant species was the Variable spike (Elliptio pullata). Oval pigtoes (Pleurobema pyriforme) were found in all three reaches. One Oval pigtoe was found between the mouths of the two tributaries, two were found upstream of the tributaries, and five were found downstream of the tributaries. Prior to the present survey in the vicinity of the two unnamed tributaries, the only known record of the Oval pigtoe in Line Creek was in 1992, when six individuals were found approximately 300 m downstream of the SR 54 bridge.

Federally Protected Fish Survey in Coosawattee River

Gilmore Co., Ellijay, GA

Construction of the proposed Veteran Memorial Bridge across the Coosawattee River in Ellijay, Georgia required an endangered fish survey. Two federally threatened fish species, the Goldline darter (Percina aurolineata) and the Blue shiner (Cyprinella caerulea), have been documented as occurring within the project vicinity. Because of concerns one or more of these species might be present at or near the proposed bridge, Dinkins Biological Consulting (DBC) was contracted to survey the project area for protected fish.

In the vicinity of the proposed bridge, the channel ranged from 15 and 21 meters wide (mean = 18 m) and depths ranged from 0.3 to 2 m (mean = 1.2 m). The substrate was dominated by sand and gravel and small to medium boulders were occasional and scattered. A representative sample of all species was preserved in 10% formalin, and specimens were deposited at the University of Tennessee Research Collection of Fishes in Knoxville, where they were identified, measured, and permanently archived.

After two days of surveying, a total of 153 fish representing 14 species were collected in the survey reach. The federally threatened Goldline darter was found upstream and downstream of the proposed bridge crossing. No Blue shiners were found during the survey. One juvenile Goldline darter (approximately 40 millimeters, total length) was found in an aggregation of small, submerged boulders near the left descending bank, approximately 214 m (702 ft) upstream of the proposed bridge. These boulders were found near the head of a long pool that extends downstream well past the proposed bridge crossing. Another, slightly larger Goldline darter (approximately 50 millimeters, total length) was found along the right descending bank in the vicinity of a rock gabion wall approximately 170 m (559 ft) downstream of the proposed bridge crossing. A few meters downstream of the rock gabion wall, the river enters a long reach dominated by boulders and swift water. The swift water continues downstream for another couple hundred meters. A total of five adult Goldline darters were found in this swift water.

Federally Protected Mussel Survey in Elk River

Clay Co., WV

The West Virginia Department of Highways is planning to replace the Camp Creek Truss Bridge (CR 4/5, Clay County) spanning the Elk River near Procious, West Virginia. A previous study in 2001 revealed 17 species of native freshwater mussels located in the direct and indirect impact zone of the existing bridge, including one federally endangered species.

The West Virginia Department of Highways developed four different alternative bridge alignments. Dinkins Biological Consulting was contracted to assess species composition, distribution, and density of the native mussel population within the direct and indirect impact zones of the four alternatives. Both qualitative and quantitative sampling techniques were used to determine which of the four alternatives posed the least threat to the mussel population.

The search for native mussels in the vicinity of each alternative began by conducting a random search in the direct impact zone to identify suitable mussel habitat and general mussel bed boundaries. During this preliminary search, divers fanned out across the search area and recorded species occurrence and general distribution patterns. When a mussel bed was found, it was delineated for subsequent quantitative and qualitative analysis.

A total of 743 live mussels representing 17 species were found in the qualitative and quantitative samples at the proposed four alternative bridge alignment zones. In the vicinity of the existing bridge two mussel beds were identified and two rare mussels, the Pink mucket (Lampsilis abrupta) and the Round hickorynut (Obovaria subrotunda), were found. The Pink mucket is a federally listed endangered species (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2005), and the Round hickorynut is listed as Species of Concern.

Gloucester 301 (h) Monitoring Program

Gloucester, Massachussetts (1987 - Present)

Barbara Dinkins has been involved in the monitoring program associated with the secondary treatment waiver awarded to the City of Goucester since 1987. The waiver, awarded in 1985, requires a monitoring program made up of three components; sampling the treatment plant effluent for priority pollutants, water quality monitoring, and sampling sediments on the sea floor for benthic infauna and contaminants. Dinkins Biological's role in the program is the identification of the marine benthic macroinvertebrates collected on site.

Neptune Pipeline Monitoring Program

Massachusetts Bay, Massachusetts (2008-Present)

Dinkins Biological, LLC. is contracted to do the indentification of marine benthic macroinvertebrates for the pre- and post-construction monitoring of a liquid natural gas pipeline built in Massachusetts Bay by Suez Energy.