Craig Kruempel, Coastal Resources Expert
Craig Kruempel has nearly 30 years of experience in coastal zone resource planning, documentation, permitting, and monitoring services. His expertise includes developing and implementing comprehensive characterization, monitoring, and restoration program documents; emphasizing natural and artificial reef habitats; and implementing the NEPA regulations for federal agency actions in the Southeastern United States. Prior to joining Tetra Tech in 2008, he had been working with the company since the mid-1990s on high profile NOAA reef restoration projects in Puerto Rico and Florida and on a barrier island restoration program in Louisiana.
Mr. Kruempel has served as an expert witness (Environmental Permitting and Monitoring, Coastal Ecosystems) and has supported the State of Florida on several work groups and committees tasked with evaluating existing procedures to develop unified methods and implementation strategies to more effectively manage coastal resources. Mr. Kruempel’s relationships with professionals who provided guidance early in his career influenced him to support the efforts of new professionals and help them achieve their goals.
How has the coastal zone management field evolved over the years, and how does this affect Tetra Tech’s clients?
Nearly 30 years ago, coastal zone management was a far more linear process. The approach to evaluating problems was generally a two-dimensional process focused on monitoring a limited number of key indicators such as corals and water quality. As our understanding of the synergy of terrestrial and marine habitats has grown, we’ve included more biological and physical characteristics into our monitoring programs, capturing the wide variety of natural and anthropogenic influences affecting these resources. Adding economic and political influences into the science has complicated the decision-making process in a way that wasn’t present 20 years ago.
Clients understand that Tetra Tech has the capabilities and experience to guide them through this complicated process. Whether I’m talking with grade school children, elected officials, or other professionals, once we have a common understanding of the science, the decisions are a little less complicated.
What is the greatest challenge and greatest opportunity you see for Tetra Tech’s Coastal Services team?
In these times of strained budgets and so many important opportunities, our challenge is to support our clients and manage their coastal resources responsibly and to answer the questions posed to us as efficiently and effectively as possible. Tetra Tech’s Coastal Services team is a multidisciplinary group of professionals who bring tremendous experience to every opportunity. The broad geographic distribution of our team allows us to tap into expertise from other areas to provide our local clients with innovative solutions. The depth and breadth of knowledge residing within Tetra Tech is amazing.
What is the goal of the Miami Harbor Deepening Project and what role is Tetra Tech playing?
Tetra Tech is supporting implementation of the $206-million widening and deepening project at Miami Harbor. This is the first deepening project in the Southeastern United States to prepare for the arrival of post-Panamax cargo ships upon completion of the Panama Canal expansion. As a subcontractor to Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company, Tetra Tech is responsible for $24.4 million in environmental services and mitigation construction activities associated with the dredging contract.
For the first time, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has awarded a contract that holds the dredging contractor directly accountable for the environmental management, comprehensive monitoring, and quality control of the project. Protection of sensitive hardbottom, coral, and seagrass habitat in and around the dredging area contributes to the complexity of constructing the project. Tetra Tech is providing comprehensive environmental management.
As the designated environmental manager for the project, I serve as the point of contact between the contractor and the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers’ environmental professionals. I’m also leading a team of Tetra Tech professionals and small business firms in overseeing the environmental monitoring program. I am fortunate that we have a successful team approach to the project that integrates representatives from a wide variety of federal, state, and local government agencies, as well as non-governmental stakeholders, in an effort to complete the project in an environmentally sound manner.
What sets Tetra Tech apart from other firms that work in the coastal zone?
We have a huge number of professionals with unparalleled experience in their respective disciplines. Depending upon the project, Tetra Tech’s marine scientists work with engineers, geologists, modelers, chemists, and a wide range of other professionals as a cohesive team to provide the absolute best service in support of our client’s needs. We truly have global competence with a local presence.