Marlene D. Meaders

Marine Biologist

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  • M.S., Fisheries Biology, Humboldt State University
  • B.S., Biological Oceanography, University of Washington
  • Marine and Freshwater Biology
  • Shellfish Ecology
  • Endangered Species Act Consultation
  • Environmental Permitting
  • Habitat Surveys

Marlene has specialized in marine and freshwater biology since 2000. She manages and implements a variety of fisheries projects, with a focus on shellfish aquaculture. Marlene specializes in permitting related to National/State Environmental Policy acts (NEPA/SEPA), and has a diverse background in assessing aquatic, estuarine, marine, and terrestrial environments in relation to federal, state, and local statutes. She has written numerous consultations for the Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, and Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Marlene regularly works with both models and field data to produce technical studies to aid in the consultation process. She has conducted more than 20 baseline studies to assess overall ecological processes for proposed projects to describe the impacts/benefits the project may have on, for example, water quality, sediment quality, and protected species and habitats. Marlene also has served as an expert witness in front of Hearing Examiners and the Shoreline Hearings Board for various geoduck aquaculture applications.

Examples of Marlene’s project work include the following:

  • For a grant-funded research project, Marlene is providing project management support and technical expertise to characterize associations of fish and invertebrates with and without aquaculture in eelgrass and mudflat habitat in Humboldt Bay, California. She is assisting with permitting, study design, data collection, and outreach. The quantification of fish and invertebrate resources is illustrating the diversity and abundance of aquatic resources associated with aquaculture gear and habitat type.
  • Marlene was the marine technical lead on the Gateway Pacific Terminal Third-Party NEPA/SEPA Environmental Impact Statement in Bellingham, Washington. She conducted research for marine issues related to construction and operation of this proposed deepwater terminal facility exporting various dry goods, including coal. The analysis included potential impacts to water quality, herring migration and spawning, fish and wildlife, and nearshore benthic biota from proposed project actions such as pile driving, vessel operations, increased overwater structures, and stormwater management.
  • Marlene managed delivery of a biological evaluation as part of Endangered Species Act consultation for a proposed geoduck aquaculture farm in Dungeness Bay, Clallam County, Washington. Work included conducting an eelgrass delineation and site characterization, a detailed literature review, and analyzing effects of the proposed project on invertebrate community distribution, salmonid and forage fish utilization, turbidity, and water quality. This project employed a new approach for permitting geoduck aquaculture operations involving siting geoduck plots with real-time eelgrass monitoring data (adaptive management), resulting in benefits to both aquaculture operations and habitat sustainability.

“I really appreciate all that you do on the various projects we work on together. You must have an excellent system for organizing required tasks, because you’re always on top of things!”
-Darlene Gaziano, Water Quality Planner/Project Manager, King County Wastewater Treatment Division