The Office of Evidence and Assessment in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) carries out monitoring, assessment and reporting on the state of the environment in relation to water to meet Ireland’s obligations. Under the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) (2000/60/EC), the types of water bodies requiring assessment include rivers and lakes. The objective of the WFD is to prevent any further deterioration in status of surface waters and to restore waterbodies to at least ‘good status’. The EPA is responsible for and carries out the biological monitoring of macrophytes, phytobenthos and invertebrates and undertakes monitoring of hydromorphology.
Macrophytes are surveyed from a boat once every three years during summer. For health and safety reasons, 2 person teams are required when surveying by boat. The EPA are seeking field assistants to accompany EPA ecologists predominantly on lake field work to form 2 person teams (an ecologist and an assistant) and a data input assistant. Requirements are in the region of 100 to 180 days in any one year for the next 4 years (2018-2021 inclusive) with the actual requirements and details being reviewed annually.
There are currently seven ecologists with the EPA based in the Ecological Monitoring and Assessment Unit and organised into single person teams: 3 in Dublin; 1 in Monaghan; 2 in Cork; and 1 in Castlebar. It is anticipated that up to 6 ecologists may undertake fieldwork in any one year for up to 4 weeks each.
The number of days for which field assistance is required in the first year, 2018, is anticipated to be 53 days’ fieldwork ranging 6 to 15 days per EPA team during the month of July. A data assistant is required for 71 days. In 2018, it is expected that the requirement is for 6 candidates to work primarily from: Dublin (2), Cork (1), Castlebar (1) and Monaghan (1) and a person for data entry. The successful contractor should be able to provide a maximum of 7 candidates for the duration of the framework.