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Biological Investigations

KEI has performed marine biological studies that range from monitoring the impacts of offshore drilling operations to understanding the dynamics of benthic and intertidal communities. Our terrestrial biological capabilities range from stream bioassessment surveys to threatened/endangered species monitoring. For the past 50 years, KEI has proven our ability to plan, implement, and conduct comprehensive ecological studies that encompass a diversity of biological regimes. Studies have addressed existing and potential impacts to ecosystems due to natural and human-induced alterations to the environment. 

Plankton net sampling in Cook Inlet, Alaska as part of an ichthyoplankton investigation to determine potential effects from LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) tanker activity.


  • Hard- and soft-bottom benthic surveys

  • Taxonomy of fish, aquatic invertebrates, and algae

  • Rocky intertidal ecological studies, including recolonization and habitat recovery

  • Deep sea ROV and shallow water diver photoquadrat sampling and analysis

  • Bioaccumulation studies of marine and freshwater organisms and vegetation

  • Fish migration, life-history, and population baseline studies

  • Marine mammal surveys

  • Marine mammal and bird impact observers

  • Bacterial source investigations

  • Biological surveys of rare, threatened, and endangered species

  • Ecological risk assessments

  • Bioassessments and physical habitat surveys

  • CRAM and USA stream assessments

  • Fish mortality investigations, SSIS studies, and TIEs

  • Water and sediment toxicity evaluations

Our biologists have designed and implemented a variety of field studies, not only within coastal and inland California, but extending to fish surveys in the Arctic and coral reef assessments in Hawaii. KEI staff experts assist our clients to comply with environmental documents including EIR/EIS, ESA biological assessments, CEQA, NEPA, CWA 401 and 404 water quality certifications, and 1602 streambed alteration agreements, as well as other CDFW codes.

Mussel collection for the investigation of bioaccumulation and long-term oil spill effects, Prince William Sound, Alaska.
Measuring a mussel with calipers for minimum length requirements, California coast.
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