The effects of pile driving on the Atlantic Shortnose Strugeon

Focus Area

Construction and Maintenance Practices


Environmental Process, Natural Resources







Research Idea Scope

With the 2012 listing of the Atlantic Shortnose Sturgeon to the threatened and endangered species list the Virginia Department of Transportation has had to produce two noise analyses for a bridge project that was under construction and permitted as well as a ferry pile driving maintenance project that occurs on an annual basis. The reports were produced using data and literature produced by the California and Washington Departments of Transportations. More information on the effects of pile driving related to the Atlantic Shortnose Sturgeon is needed and a growing concern for the east coast Departments of Transportation. Data such as the hearing capabilities of the Atlantic Shortnose Sturgeon is needed and how the species reacts to pile driving by documenting and quantifying the hearing threshold of the species. Additional noise level data associated with pile driving (e.g. wooden piles, composite piles, and the vibratory hammer extraction of wooden piles) is need as well. Lastly, better source data for ambient noise levels, computation models, and other water born activities such as dredging and jetting is required.

Urgency and Payoff

The 2012 listing of the Atlantic Shortnose Sturgeon will affect Departments of Transportation from Florida to Maine. Work within or adjacent to potential habitat may have fiscal and schedule implications jeopardizing DOT’s from delivering their respective projects in an on-time and in-budget manner.

Suggested By

Paul Kohler Virginia Department of Transportatoin

[email protected]