Industry Leaders in Natural Science Assessment
McIntosh Perry provides a large selection of natural sciences services to our public, private, and institutional sector clients across Canada. Regardless of size or complexity, we determine the most cost-effective solutions for projects, assuring that all legislative requirements are met and that clients are fully appraised of all impacts and mitigations required to protect the natural environment and advance their projects.
From large, long-term infrastructure endeavours to smaller private assignments, we are capable of meeting the needs of our clients and handling a myriad of tasks in order to secure permits, approvals, or conduct targeted surveys as required. We assist land developers, private landowners, real estate companies, industrial clients, townships, municipalities, conservation authorities, and government agencies across Canada. With offices in the Greater Toronto Area, Ottawa, Kingston, North Bay, and Southwestern Ontario, we are uniquely positioned to select staff strategically for each assignment. We build our teams based on required proficiency and proximity to the project.
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Our Natural Sciences team of biologists, ecologists, scientists, technicians, and project managers include industry recognized leaders in aquatic and terrestrial assessment as well as the application of environmental legislation. McIntosh Perry’s long-standing experience in the industry throughout Ontario and Canada allow us to move projects forward while pursuing environmentally sound solutions that protect the environment. Please find a summary of our services below with more information provided under the dropdown sections.
- Environmental Impact Studies (EIS)
- Tree Inventory Reports
- Level I & II Natural Environment Studies – Supporting Pits & Quarries
- Permits to Take Water
- Protected Areas (Greenbelt Plan, Oak Ridges Moraine & Niagara Escarpment)
- Ecological Land Classification (ELC)
- Breeding Bird Inventories/Studies
- Turtle Fence Design/Monitoring
- Species at Risk (SAR) Surveys
- Species At Risk (SAR) Municipal Mapping
- Endangered Species Act Authorizations
- Overall Benefit Permits/Habitat Compensation Design
- Wetland Study & Delineation
- Migratory Bird Site Screening
- Habitat Restoration and Planning
- Bat Acoustic Monitoring
Development & Regulatory
Policies and regulations around land use are expanding increasingly due to a heightened interest in preserving our natural environment. As a result, studies that document and define impacts of proposed projects on the natural environment are routinely required for development submissions. McIntosh Perry conducts extensive natural science evaluations that catalogue biological inventories, assess impacts, ensure due diligence pertaining to client environmental liabilities, review baseline information, and meet and legislative/ministry requirements for land use projects.
Our deep understanding of these matters allows us to acquire faster regulatory approvals for our clients. We offer detailed studies and reports including as noted.
McIntosh Perry Natural Science professionals are experienced in carrying out EIS studies supporting a wide variety of undertakings including private development and severances, road/bridge and culvert infrastructure rehabilitation, large subdivisions, and commercial/institutional construction. Environmental Impact Studies (EIS) are an important part of the development planning process and identify the natural features and functions present on a site inclusive of wetlands, wildlife, fish habitat, migratory bird and vegetation inventories, Species at Risk (SAR), woodlands, valley lands, and Areas of Natural Scientific Interest (ANSI’s). Final EIS reports detail the potential impacts present on sites as well as addressing the required mitigations to protect sensitive features. Through maximized communications with the client, conservation authorities, and Townships, McIntosh Perry staff consistently deliver EIS studies that address all stakeholder and client needs while being both on time and on budget. Our typical EIS process takes 2 – 4 months from start to report delivery.
McIntosh Perry will discuss the nature of your development, site features, agency requirements, conduct a preliminary review of your site, and provide a detailed proposal at no cost.
Tree Inventory and Preservation Plans describe the condition of initial site vegetation, any impacts of proposed development, and associated mitigation measures to minimize impacts and preserve conserved trees. Our specialists prepare, collect, map, and analyze tree inventory data within study areas to better understand species composition and current tree condition. These plans also detail any compensation requirements for removed trees, provide recommendations to ensure tree survival and create a safe environment during the construction period, while also preserving the trees and ensuring that they do not become a hazard in the long-term. Speak with one of our professionals to discuss your project and how we can help developing a customized Tree Inventory/Preservation plan.
Permits are required for the development of quarries that allow for aggregate extraction both above and below the water table. McIntosh Perry Natural Sciences staff prepare Level 1 or 2 Natural Environment Reports (NER) that support this aggregate permitting process to identify the presence of any natural features or functions on or adjacent to sites. A terrestrial audit of the site is generally conducted by our biologists and ecologists. Screening for specific Species at Risk (SAR) that utilize rocky habitat areas are also frequently conducted. A Level 1 general NER is completed initially. If any important sensitive features or functions are identified, typically a Level 2 study will be required for further study and to define specific impacts and recommended mitigations. We are experienced at meeting any reporting needs to support your aggregate extraction project.
We are experienced in carrying out biophysical studies that support applications for Permits to Take Water in Ontario when required based on the nature of the proposed water taking. We work closely with our Geo-Environmental group to meet client needs.
The McIntosh Perry Natural Sciences group has a firm grasp of both legislation and guidelines related to specialized protected areas within Ontario inclusive of the Oak Ridges Moraine, Greenbelt, and Niagara Escarpment areas. Additionally, we have a keen understanding of the specialized habitats that these areas represent and the species supported. Regardless of the nature of your proposed development, we have the capability to provide services to meet your needs in support of any undertaking and assist with navigate through legislative requirements and enhanced protections.
Fisheries & Aquatic Assessments
The McIntosh Perry Natural Sciences group specializes in a wide array of fisheries related services and aquatic habitat assessments. Ontario has a wealth of freshwater resources that provide habitat for a multitude of aquatic species. Our professionals have an excellent working knowledge of legislation, guidelines, and policy developed for the protection of fish and fish habitat that may be impacted by proposed development, infrastructure, or other projects.
In order to assist with compliance with existing legislation by our clients we carry out assessments of existing conditions, define any impacts, and provide recommendations to reduce effects. We also carry our projects to improve fish habitat or passage by providing design recommendations.
Electrofishing is a non-harmful fishing technique used by field personnel to help identify or relocate fish present in waterbodies. McIntosh Perry stores state of the art electrofishing units at our offices across Ontario to be able to respond quickly to our clients needs and deploy resources into the field on short notice. Our field professionals are both trained and certified to carry out electrofishing in support of a variety of projects where fishery related studies, inventories, or salvage may be required. We can also prepare the documentation and secure the required Scientific Collectors Permit required prior to carrying out electrofishing at your site.
For many infrastructure or other projects, in-water work may often be needed, thereby requiring the isolation of a work area within a watercourse. This necessitates the removal of fish from the working area and relocation to a safe area downstream prior to initiating any work. Our field professionals are trained and certified to carry out fish salvage and can provide all the services required to support any fish removal/relocation requirements for your project. Typically, the services summarized below are required.
Fish Removal Plan, MNRF Scientific Collector’s Permit, and Fish Removal Services:
- Apply and obtain required a Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry (NDMNRF) Scientific Collector’s Permit, including required Fish Collection Record reporting to NDMNRF); and
- Fish Removal Services by qualified staff as per industry best practices, including any requirements by NDMNRF, Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), any Local Conservation Authority
McIntosh Perry biologists are frequently retained by both private and government clients to conduct in depth studies that characterize and document aquatic habitat conditions within study areas. Staff are skilled at preparing Existing Conditions and Related Impact/Mitigation reports that explore how a proposed development (both shoreline adjacent and in-water) might impact the area fish habitat and provide protection recommendations in our reporting. Our studies support a wide range of undertakings including provincial and municipal infrastructure, industrial, institutional, and private development projects.
Our staff are experienced in completing comprehensive watercourse habitat assessments for your project if required as a part of aquatic studies, restoration, or other works. We will carry out field investigations to map aquatic habitat features and values present within study areas inclusive of watercourse dimensions, in-stream cover, riparian and aquatic vegetation, substrate information, flow characteristics, sedimentation and pollutant point sources.
Following an assessment, when a proposed undertaking is shown to potentially impact fish populations, a Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) request for review may be needed. Our scientists can prepare the required documentation to support the Request for Review and communicate with agency staff to assist in securing approvals. We work closely with regional DFO offices on a regular basis on behalf of our clients in an effort of supporting their submissions.
Benthic organisms are valuable indicators of water quality, as diverse populations present within the sediments of watercourses. Monitoring of benthic organisms both upstream and downstream of a targeted area can provide important information about the source of pollution/toxicity. The presence of pollution-tolerant benthic organisms is a strong indicator of good water quality; and inversely, pollution-tolerant benthic macro-invertebrate presence is associated with poor water quality. Our team can develop your monitoring program, carry out sampling, provide statistical analysis/interpretation of the data, and provide a comprehensive report detailing the results.
Our biologists, ecologists, and scientist can assist you with any projects where fish passage must be optimized or where existing barriers to fish mobility have been identified. Our Natural Sciences team includes professionals with extensive experience in fish passage assessment and design. We work closely with our structural and drainage design teams and provide consultation regarding design modifications to enhance passage for example: assuring optimal watercourse flow for identified species, the need for baffle placement, or substrate quality enhancement.
At McIntosh Perry our multidisciplinary approach to watercourse restoration includes collaboration between Natural Sciences, Water Resources, Environmental Engineering, and Geomorphology disciplines as the scope of projects can be complex including the establishment of riparian zones, native plantings, fish passage features, bank stabilization, substrate modification, etc. From large to smaller watercourse restoration projects, we are able to meet your needs.
Our team can carry out in-field investigations to determine or confirm if watercourses that can be impacted by proposed infrastructure repair or replacement, represent fish habitat. As such, we would provide direction regarding the need for additional services i.e., permitting, construction timing windows, the need for electrofishing or fish salvage, or other recommendations/approvals.
We have staff trained and certified in environmental monitoring for construction projects. We can meet your construction, or post construction monitoring needs with the capability to deploy staff on a regular basis, if required, from several offices located throughout Ontario.
Terrestrial & Wildlife Assessment
The McIntosh Perry Natural Sciences group is led by a highly respected team of industry recognized professionals inclusive of scientists, ecologists, biologists, Species at Risk (SAR), wildlife specialists, and technicians. Staff are skilled in aquatic and terrestrial impact assessment, ecological land classification (ELC), ecological inventories, breeding bird studies, evaluations of natural heritage features and functions, wetland delineation, SAR assessment, mitigation and compensation plans, and environmental management.
Our Natural Sciences team gather and analyze data through background desktop studies and field surveys, assess impacts, and recommend or implement solutions as required that may include simple monitoring requirements, best management practices (BMPs), habitat creation, or rehabilitation and planting plans. McIntosh Perry is dedicated to advancing sustainable projects that manage and reduce environmental impacts. Working closely with planning authorities and government agencies, our Natural Sciences team helps clients navigate complex legislative requirements and obtain the necessary project approvals needed to preserve and protect our natural world.
Our Natural Sciences staff have extensive experience carrying out full detailed botanical inventories for independent site vegetation studies or as a part of broader terrestrial evaluations. Our professionals are trained and certified to utilize standardized protocols to assess study area vegetation. We will characterize and map all vegetation communities on aerial photographs of your site using the ministry guidelines for Ecological Land Classification (ELC). Regardless of the size of your project site, our Natural Sciences team can cost effectively survey and map the study area.
Our avian biologists have extensive experience conducting breeding bird inventories and are skilled in identification techniques by both song and direct observation/breeding activity. Depending on various factors our professionals will develop the most cost-effective monitoring program to capture target species within the appropriate field window. Survey times for best assessing breeding bird incidence as recommended by the Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas (OBBA) are between late May and July. Our avian biologists can also complete comprehensive avian studies that examine relationships between habitat factors, defined impacts, and cite mitigations.
Speak with us about designing, installing, and conducting monitoring for your Species at Risk turtle protection project. McIntosh Perry has managed the installation of many projects primarily in the Ottawa area.
McIntosh Perry specializes in conducting Species at Risk surveys for client projects. Typically, initial desktop background reviews of available information sources will be undertaken in order to provide data on any Species at Risk (SAR) present in the vicinity of the project area as well as local habitat conditions. Our biologist will then conduct in-field investigations to supplement this information. Pending findings McIntosh biologist may recommend additional targeted surveys. Surveys may be for SAR reptiles, bats, birds, or amphibians pending the nature of the site habitat. Through reporting staff will detail next steps for the client.
Through collaboration with our GIS department, we are able to provide comprehensive mapping services of Species at Risk (SAR) habitat locations for governments, municipalities, and institutions and are able to align mapping formats for a seamless integration with client data resources. We have seen that the development of detailed maps of SAR occurrences can be extremely strong planning tools. Accordingly, infrastructure or construction projects can be designed to be outside of SAR habitats or critical timelines thereby saving time and resources.
McIntosh Perry ecologists understand the importance and intricacies of the Canadian Species At Risk Act (SARA) and the Ontario Endangered Species Act (ESA) that provide protections for identified SAR and their habitats. Pending your project requirements, in special cases, McIntosh Perry can help you to obtain Endangered Species Act permits and authorizations. These permits contain conditions that are aimed at protecting and recovering at-risk plants and animals. Should the need arise, we also assist clients with the completion of Information Gathering Forms (IGF) for SAR as required by the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry (NDMNRF).
McIntosh Perry Natural Science professionals have surveyed, located, selected, designed, and constructed many alternate habitat areas for species because of required compensation measures from projects where Overall Benefit Permits were issued. In addition to developing these specialized habitats at remote sites from the initial undertaking we have carried out routine monitoring to track the initiation and continued use of these habitat areas by protected species.
Canada has a multitude of wetlands inclusive of both unevaluated and provincially Significant Wetlands. Our team conducts field visits to characterize any wetlands present on client sites. We can also delineate and map the boundaries of site wetlands and provide feedback on any mandated setbacks from the boundaries that is important for land use or development issues.
Our avian biologists can carry out breeding bird nesting sweeps required for any tree clearing activities planned within the breeding bird window roughly from April 1st to August 31st of any year. Should a nesting migratory bird be identified, we advise our clients with respect to any required setbacks or buffers to be observed and the anticipated fledging time. This provides our clients with a rough timeframe when the species is expected to have completed nesting and when work can continue.
Multidisciplinary Collaboration and Coordination
Our Natural Science clients benefit from cross-collaboration that takes place between our various teams. This interaction allows us to leverage expertise across groups, share resources, solve problems quickly, and deliver innovative solutions.
With offices in the Greater Toronto Area, Ottawa, North Bay, Kingston, and across Canada, we are uniquely positioned to select staff strategically for each assignment. We build our teams based on required proficiency and proximity to the project.
We service the following sectors:
- Infrastructure Projects
- Highways and Roads
- Private Land Development
- Private/Commercial Residential/Real Estate
- Water Resources
- Great Lakes Ecosystems
- Coastal and Marine
- Power and Dams
- Mining Industry
- Oil and Gas Industry
- Parks and Recreation