PROJECTS


Juan C. Levesque, Marine Biologist, has participated and led projects in many domestic and international locations. His field experience is diverse, which includes both freshwater and marine systems. Specializing in Fishery Biology, he has working experience using different types of sampling equipment in a variety of environments from streams in Colorado and Nicaragua to the high seas in the Caribbean. Mr. Levesque has collected different types of data aboard small and large vessels and has even collected data from a helicopter. Besides conducting field projects, he has assisted and led other types of projects that have required various levels of research and desktop analytical skills. He can conduct basic non-parametric and parametric statistical tests and design effective field experiments using experimental design procedures like determining sample size. On several occasions, Mr. Levesque has served as a Principle Investigator and Chief Scientist overseeing multifaceted projects. He has experience conducting projects alone or as a team member. Mr. Levesque also has experience working with various international scientists. He has experience working with the general public to well-respected scientist. His 25 years of diverse experience has helped him successfully complete numerous projects, including various court-mandated or legal projects. Much of his success relates to his attitude and behavior towards others. His motto has always been to have fun and get the job done safely.

Juan C. Levesque, Marine Biologist, collected data associated with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill accident.
Juan C. Levesque, Marine Biologist, collected data associated with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill accident.


Key Projects

 

Natural Resource Damage Assessments (NRDA)

 

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Response and Natural Resource Damage Assessment, Gulf of Mexico

 

Mr. Levesque was a Technical Team member on Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) studies related to nearshore marine communities. In this role, he provided technical guidance to the team in the implementation of NRDA analytical studies related to nearshore fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico. Responsibilities included drafting technical reports on various nearshore fish species, and evaluating regional/coastal planning initiatives. Also, he was responsible for providing oversight to ensure draft reports were consistent in terms of content, scientific integrity, and accuracy.

 

 

Project Scientist Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Response and Natural Resource Damage Assessment, Gulf of Mexico, Stuart, Florida

 

Mr. Levesque supported, conducted, and implemented various Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) research activities associated with the Mississippi Canyon Block 252 Deepwater Horizon drilling rig accident and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico (20 April 2010). Mr. Levesque served as the technical science lead aboard U.S. government and private research vessels for the  MC252 Deepwater Horizon incident; Participated in extended field work (Water Quality Monitoring, Mesopelagic and Zooplankton Sampling) associated with the Deepwater Horizon Incident; Served as the watch chief scientist (Mid-water Trawl: Tow Speed and Water Sampling Depth Determinations); Assisted with rough sorting deepwater fishes; Assisted with real-time oceanographic data interpretation (UV Florescence, DO, Salinity, Temperature, and Density) during NRDA cooperative research cruises; Served as the lead pilot operating a 1-m2 Multiple Opening and Closing Net and Environmental Sensing System (MOCNESS) during NRDA cooperative research cruises; Served as the safety officer on cooperative cruises.

 

 

Field Studies

 

Field Regional Principle Investigator Field Leader , Western and Eastern United States

 

Mr. Levesque was responsible for overseeing and implementing a complex court-mandated environmental study throughout the western and eastern United States. He led a field team and oversaw the collection of influent, effluent, biosolids, sediment, water, freshwater fish, and benthic invertebrates in numerous streams and rivers. He also helped draft the study plan and final reports.

 

Field Scientist Marine Pest Inspector, Balboa and Colon Panama

 

Mr. Levesque was responsible for overseeing the cleaning and inspection of a seismic vessel to ensure it met the regulatory standards of the governments of New Zealand and Australia. He was responsible for providing oversight and working with various subcontractors, agents, and crew to conduct his inspection. To conduct his inspection of the hull, he reviewed video and still photographs.

 

Field Scientist Fisheries Researcher, Nueva Guinea, Nicaragua

 

Mr. Levesque was responsible for overseeing and assisting with fisheries collections in various locations in Nicaragua. He was responsible for providing oversight and working with various international scientists and organizations to ensure field studies were conducted using the best and safest approaches. He was also responsible for planning and coordinating various daily field studies.

 

 

Principal Investigator National Marine Fisheries Service, Gear Modifications to reduce Fishery Interactions with Sturgeon, North Carolina and Virginia

 

Mr. Levesque initiated and developed a gear modification study to test changes in gillnet gear to reduce fishery interactions with sturgeon in North Carolina and Virginia fisheries. As the PI, he was responsible for ensuring the scientific integrity of the project, field collections, data analyses, and final report preparation. He provided oversight to ensure subcontractors were meeting the scientific objectives and goal of the study.

 

Field Scientist Santee Cooper Power, Cross, South Carolina; 316(b) Compliance

 

Mr. Levesque was responsible for designing and participating in a 316(b) Source Water Baseline Characterization (SWBC) field study at the Cross power plant facility located in South Carolina.  The SWBC included describing and evaluating the fish community (eggs, larvae, juveniles, and adults) within the source water used by the power plant. Mr. Levesque designed the field sampling (methods and gear) and used analytical approaches to develop the final report. The SWBC data will be used to support the regulatory requirements associated with the facility’s NPDES permit (316b), which includes impingement and entrainment standards.

 

Principle Investigator Fisheries Evaluation, Alafia River, Florida; Enforceable Consent Agreement/Compliance

 

Mr. Levesque was responsible for designing and participating in a freshwater fishery characterization of the Alafia, River (Florida) for a confidential client.  The field sampling methods included using beach seines and fyke nets to describe and evaluate the freshwater fish community. Besides designing the field sampling (methods and gear) and analytical approaches, Mr. Levesque was also responsible for drafting the final report.

 

Project Scientist Magnolia Bay Marina & Resort (Gulf of Mexico). Private Florida Developer, Tampa, Florida

 

Mr. Levesque was responsible for providing environmental consulting services, including the assessment of seagrasses, scallops, and biotic communities for the completion of a 3,700-acre Keaton Beach marina and residential development for a prominent Florida developer. The seagrass assessment included evaluating potential mitigation strategies for impacted seagrass. The findings were used for coastal management purposes.

 

Project Scientist Harborview Marina and Residential Development. Private Florida Development Company, Tampa, Florida

 

Mr. Levesque was responsible for providing environmental consulting services, including the benthic and biotic communities assessment for the construction of a single-family/multi-family residential development that included residential homes, commercial facilities, office/medical, common areas, roads, storm water management systems, a public and private marina, and a marked navigational channel between the 514.52-acre site and the existing Peace River navigation channel.  The benthic assessment included a detailed benthic survey of the entire property based on extensive field investigations and aerial photographic interpretation.

 

Principal Investigator Assessment of the Recreational Swordfish Fishery in South Florida, Miami, Florida

 

Mr. Levesque initiated and developed a pilot study to assess the recreational swordfish fishery in South Florida; Collected biological, statistical, and economic data regarding the recreational swordfish fishery in South Florida while aboard tournament competition vessels.  He was responsible for preparing a final report on the emerging fishery.

 

Team Member Commercial Swordfish, Tuna, and Shark Fishery Assessment in the North Atlantic, Silver Spring, Maryland

 

Mr. Levesque assisted with the population monitoring of highly migratory species (sharks, billfish, tuna, and swordfish) and fishing fleet characterization of the U.S. pelagic longline fishery throughout the western North Atlantic Ocean. He was responsible for collecting biological information while aboard commercial vessels.

 

Team Member Sea turtle Mitigation Measures in the U.S. Commercial Pelagic Longline Fishery, Grand Banks, Newfoundland, Canada

 

Mr. Levesque assisted with the implementation of an experimental to test sea turtle mitigation measures in the pelagic longline fleet fishing in the Grand Banks, Canadian water experimental area. He was responsible for collecting biological information, coordinating trip logistics, and gear deployment field sampling protocol with fishery captains.

 

Team Member Commercial and Recreational Fisheries Assessment, Tampa Bay, Florida

 

Mr. Levesque assisted on a variety of projects that evaluated juvenile and adult inshore commercial and recreational fishes of importance to the State of Florida. Assisted with numerous fish tagging projects, hook-mortality studies, age and growth studies, and specific life history population studies (mullet, sheepshead, black and red drum, and snook). Responsible for scheduling, overseeing, and supervising field sampling trips with scientific personnel; Responsible for computer data entry, data quality control, data analyses, report preparation, proposal writing, and scientific literature research.

 

Team Member Evaluation and Assessment of Juvenile Shark Habitats on the West Coast of Florida, Sarasota Bay and Charlotte Harbor, Florida

 

Mr. Levesque assisted with implementing the State of Florida’s largest juvenile shark habitat assessment project in order to evaluate the importance and use of west coast estuaries.  He assisted with shipboard handling and tagging of juvenile sharks. Collected biological data on sharks; designed and implemented data entry; responsible for data input and summary statistics; assisted with field experimental sampling design; engaged in a Co-op bycatch project with commercial gillnet fisherman; maintained juvenile shark tanks; participated in the planning and evaluation of field activities.

 

Project Scientist Evaluation and Assessment of Coastal Wetlands on the West Coast of Florida, Sarasota, Florida

 

Mr. Levesque evaluated and characterized coastal wetlands in Sarasota Bay, Florida to compare and evaluate historical changes as a result of urban development.

 

Project Scientist Brownfields Remediation, Jacksonville, Florida

 

ERM was retained to conduct targeted source zone groundwater remediation work in accordance with the FDEP standards. ERM installed and operated an ERH remediation system for chlorinated volatile organic compounds (CVOCs) in shallow groundwater. The ERH system targeted the mass source area, which was approximately 7,100 square feet. The objective of the ERH remediation system was to focus on the CVOCs in the shallow groundwater zone, specifically trichloroethene (TCE), cis-1,2-ichloroethene (cis-DCE) and vinyl chloride (VC). The remedial goal was to reduce TCE to concentrations less than 30 micrograms perliter (μg/l), cis-DCE to 70 μg/l, and VC to 1 μg/l. Mr. Levesque was responsible for on-site management, monitoring, and collecting air samples using PID meter, summa canister, and draeger tubes.

 

 

 Analytical Evaluations

 

 

Lead Biologist Assessment of Three Commercially Valuable Species on the Chatham Rise, New Zealand

 

Mr. Levesque was responsible for conducting a literature review of the biology of three commercially/ecologically valuable species (ling, hake, and hoki) found off New Zealand. The assessment included an evaluation of potential impacts associated with proposed commercial activity. The findings were used for expert testimony.

 

Project Manager and Fishery Biologist Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary Fishery Assessment (Gulf of Mexico), National Ocean Service, Galveston, Texas

 

Mr. Levesque was responsible for conducting an assessment of the recreational and commercial fisheries associated with the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. Mr. Levesque was responsible for the overall project management, assigning tasks, monitoring the budget, drafting the final report, and conducting a public presentation of the project's findings. The findings were used for regional/environmental planning purposes. The findings were published as peer-review articles.

 

Lead Biologist Assessment of Historical U.S. Commercial Shark Catches in the Gulf of Mexico, Silver Spring, Maryland

 

Mr. Levesque researched and recovered NMFS Historical (1950’s) Longline Fishery Independent Survey Shark Data.  The information obtained was used as evidence in a lawsuit against the Agency; Responsible for Serving as Technical Specialist in HMS Fisheries, Observer and Shark Fishery Resource Issues. Established, entered, and evaluated the quality assurance of the database.

 

 

Environmental Assessment

 

 

 

Fishery Biologist Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Overseas EIS for the Navy GOMEX Range Complex, Plano, Texas

 

Mr. Levesque was responsible for providing support for an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) evaluating military activities along the gulf coast of the United States, including in the Gulf of Mexico. He was responsible for developing sections of the Biological Evaluation (BE) and Letter of Authorization (LOA) for inclusion with the EIS. These documents assessed the potential impacts of Naval exercises to biological resources in the marine environment to ensure the Navy was in NEPA, ESA, and MMPA compliance. The BE and LOA is supported by maps that incorporated geospatial data to compile, manage, and visualize impacted marine resources using GIS. The BE also identified current mitigation measures undertaken by the Navy to reduce impacts to marine resources. Mr. Levesque was responsible for providing information on the protected fish species potentially found within the project area.

 

 Fishery Biologist Marine Resources Assessment for the Southern California and Point Mugu Navy Operating Areas, Plano, Texas

 

Mr. Levesque was responsible for providing support for a comprehensive compilation of existing scientific information on protected and commercial marine species, habitats, and oceanographic features including bathymetry, currents and substrate, present in the Southern California and Point Mugu Operating Areas and surrounding region. The document was supported by maps that incorporated geospatial data to compile, manage, and visualize marine resources using a GIS. The assessment also identified existing data gaps and provided prioritized recommendations for future research that may be necessary to fill those gaps. Mr. Levesque was responsible for drafting information on fish fauna/distribution/composition/habitat, commercial and recreational fisheries. In addition, he provided a summary of the relevant marine protected areas for the region.

 

 Fishery Biologist NJDEP Ecological Baseline Studies for offshore alternative energy, Plano, Texas

 

Mr. Levesque was responsible for providing digital spatial and temporal data in a GIS on the marine species utilizing waters off the coast of New Jersey to assist in determining potential impacts of offshore wind power development. Mr. Levesque assisted with the preparation of the draft annual report. He provided updated information on fish and fisheries (commercial and recreational) found within and vicinity of the project area.

 

 Fishery Biologist Marine Resource Review for North Atlantic and Europe; Navy exercises, Plano, Texas

 

Mr. Levesque was responsible for providing the U.S. Navy a Marine Resources Review for the Upper North Atlantic, Lower North Atlantic, North Sea, Baltic Sea, and Adriatic Sea. This assessment was based on a literature review of protected and non-protected marine species (marine mammals, sea turtles, seabirds, and fish), marine habitats, protected areas, and geologic and oceanographic features in these five areas. The assessment included a general environmental/regional/coastal management approach. Mr. Levesque reviewed and summarized information on primary fish species, distribution, habitat, and commercial fisheries in the waters of the Upper North Atlantic and North Sea.

 

 Fishery Biologist   Marine Resource Assessment for the Chesapeake Bay; Navy exercises, Plano, Texas

 

Mr. Levesque was responsible for conducting a comprehensive compilation of existing information on protected and commercial marine species (including marine mammals and sea turtles), habitats, and oceanographic features present in the Chesapeake Bay. This project involved collecting and interpreting data and information, compiling the information into a cohesive report, preparing detailed maps of the resource availability and location, and preparing a geospatial database to house all of the information to assist U.S. Navy environmental planning purposes. The assessment included a general environmental/regional/coastal management approach. Mr. Levesque was responsible for drafting updated information on fish fauna/distribution/composition/habitat, commercial and recreational fisheries.

 

 Fishery Biologist   Undersea Warfare Training Range, US Atlantic Coast, Plano, Texas

 

Mr. Levesque was responsible for preparing sections of a Biological Assessment and a Letter of Authorization Application (Marine Mammal Protection Act Permit Application) for the proposed Undersea Warfare Training Range on the United States east coast. He conducted an assessment of the fisheries and Essential Fish Habitat found in the proposed action area.

 

 

 

Regulatory Guidance and Review

 

 

 Lead Biologist Coral Reef ESA (4[d]) Proces: Review of Essential Fish Habitat Evaluation, Tampa, Florida

 

As part of the ESA 4(d) process to protect Indo-Pacific corals, Mr. Levesque assisted the NMFS Protected Species Division. Under contract, he was responsible for conducting an assessment of EFH within the jurisdiction of the Pacific Islands Regional Office (PIRO). Mr Levesque reviewed, categorized, and summarized EFH evaluations.  This evaluation helped NMFS PRD staff to evaluate potential current, ongoing, and future threats to 15 species of corals under the jurisdiction of PIRO.

 

 Technical Advisor Entergy, Louisiana, 316(b) Compliance 

 

Mr. Levesque provided technical advice for six facilities located along the Mississippi River (Louisiana) to ensure compliance with the EPA’s proposed CWA Section 316(b) rule.  He was responsible for reviewing and editing technical documents that included data gap analyses of information related to the rule; formulating compliance alternatives and strategies based on site-specific intake structural and biological characteristics; and formulating impingement and entrainment sampling plans. 

 

 Project Manager Review of the Essential Fish Habitat Evaluation Process, Plano, Texas

 

Mr. Levesque was responsible for conducting an assessment of the effectiveness of the NMFS Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) consultation process between NMFS and the USACE. He was responsible for the overall project management, assigning tasks, monitoring the budget, drafting the final report, and conducting a public presentation of the project's findings to NMFS senior staff.

 

 Lead Biologist Assessment of Sand Mining Operations in the Gulf of Mexico, St. Petersburg, Florida

 

 Mr. Levesque was responsible for assessing impacts of sand mining on threatened and endangered marine species by a proposed USACE project off the Chandelier Islands in the Gulf of Mexico. The assessment included a general environmental/regional/coastal management approach. Mr. Levesque was responsible for preparing the biological opinion that evaluated the projects impacts on threatened and endangered species.

 

 Lead Biologist Assessment of Dredging Operations in Northwest Florida (Gulf of Mexico), St. Petersburg, Florida

 

Mr. Levesque was responsible for assessing impacts of dredging operations on threatened and endangered marine species by a proposed USACE project which involved channel dredging operations in Northwest Florida. The assessment included a general environmental/regional/coastal management approach. Mr. Levesque was responsible for preparing the biological opinion that evaluated the projects impacts on threatened and endangered species.

 

 Lead Biologist Assessment of Beach Renourishment Operations in the Gulf of Mexico, St. Petersburg, Florida

 

Mr. Levesque was responsible for assessing impacts of beach renourishment operations on threatened and endangered marine species by a proposed USACE project that involved beach renourishment operations in Northwest Florida. The assessment included a general environmental/regional/coastal management approach. Mr. Levesque was responsible for preparing the biological opinion that evaluated the projects impacts on threatened and endangered species.

 

 Lead Biologist Federal Rule Development for North Atlantic Right Whale Conservation and Management, St. Petersburg, Florida

 

Mr. Levesque was responsible for drafting emergency temporary regulations for protecting the North Atlantic right whale from serious injury or mortality in commercial gillnet operations in southeast waters; participated and presented information at a public meeting, assisted in the preparation of the Environmental Assessment and served as lead in the ESA Section 7 consultation, EFH consultation, other internal regulatory requirements and memos.

 

 Team Member Federal Rule Development for Bottlenose Dolphin Conservation and Management, St. Petersburg, Florida

 

Mr. Levesque was responsible for drafting proposed regulatory and non-regulatory management measures to reduce serious injury and mortality of the Western North Atlantic coastal bottlenose dolphin stock from nine commercial fisheries operating from New Jersey through the east coast of Florida; participated in public hearings and stake-holder meetings, assisted in the preparation of the Environmental Assessment and served as lead in the Endangered Species Act Section 7 consultation, Essential Fish Habitat consultation, other internal regulatory requirements and assessments.

 

 Lead Biologist Assessment of Sand Mining Operations in the Gulf of Mexico.

 

Mr. Levesque was responsible assessing impacts of sand mining on threatened and endangered marine species by a proposed USACE project off the Chandelier Islands in the Gulf of Mexico. Responsible for preparing the biological opinion that evaluated the projects impacts on threatened and endangered species.

 

 Lead Biologist Assessment of Dredging Operations in Northwest Florida, St. Petersburg, Florida

 

Mr. Levesque was responsible for assessing impacts of dredging operations on threatened and endangered marine species by a proposed USACE project which involved channel dredging operations in Northwest Florida.  Mr. Levesque was responsible for preparing the biological opinion that evaluated the projects impacts on threatened and endangered species.

 

 Lead Biologist Interagency Agreement between NMFS and USCG, Silver Spring, Maryland

 

Mr. Levesque developed and assisted in the implementation of an Interagency Agreement between the NMFS and the USCG emphasizing Observer Safety concerns. He served as lead in drafting an Interagency Agreement.  Facilitated and coordinated between NMFS and USCG.  He assisted with the preparation of revised fishery observer health and safety regulations and associated internal communication.