EcoKai performs hydrological, geomorphological, and biological field surveying and monitoring along several streams in remote wilderness areas associated with Southern California Edison (SCE) hydroelectric generation projects in the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains and San Bernardino Mountains. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the U.S. Forest Service (under authority of Section 4(e) of the Federal Powers Act) have issued SCE licenses to operate the facilities and require monitoring along the creeks in order to investigate any responses of the biota and/or streambed to changes in stream flow, specifically responses to minimum flow releases required by conditions of the licenses.
EcoKai’s scope of work includes installation and maintenance of in situ remote hydrological sensing equipment, monitoring and collection of soil moisture, groundwater, and streamflow data, and geomorphological surveying of riparian corridors. EcoKai also assists with riparian vegetation monitoring including measuring various biometric parameters along riparian habitat transects. Field surveying and data collection, data-logging equipment maintenance, and data analyses and reporting are performed by EcoKai on a recurring schedule along several Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountain streams that provide power to SCE hydroelectric facilities. Stream locations monitoring by EcoKai include Bishop Creek, Rush Creek, Lee Vining Creek, and Mill Creek in the Eastern Sierra as well as along Burnt Canyon Creek and the South Fork and East Fork of the Whitewater River Headwaters in the San Bernardino Mountains. Data are evaluated in relation to previous years’ data and to baseline data collected prior to implementation of minimum flow releases required by the FERC license.