S. Fla. water district awards Everglades restoration contract to Avineon

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ALEXANDRIA, VA, Feb. 15, 2006 (PRNewswire) -- Avineon Inc., a successful provider of information technology, engineering, geospatial and program management services, yesterday announced that South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) has awarded Avineon a contract to perform a vegetation mapping project to help document the location and type of vegetation habitats within the Everglades. Working closely with SFWMD staff, the team from Avineon will use field work, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), photointerpretation, photogrammetry and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to create maps utilizing aerial imagery. The mapping completed by Avineon will be used as a primary tool to assess the system-wide performance of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) program. The mapping effort will ultimately provide the baseline information needed to address the response of the Everglades ecosystem to the initiatives implemented under CERP. This five-year contract is valued at near $1.5 million.

Under the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) passed in 2000, CERP was approved by Congress as a partnership between the SFWMD and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Developed in concert with many other federal, state, local and tribal partners, CERP provides the framework for modifications and operational changes needed to restore the Everglades. Included is specific authorization for an adaptive assessment and monitoring program that Avineon's mapping work will support, documenting changes in species composition and distribution.

"The support provided by Avineon will help us accurately track and document the results of our unprecedented efforts to restore and preserve the Everglades," said Chip Merriam, Deputy Executive Director of Water Resources for the agency.

The vegetation maps will be generated using photogrammetic workstations and users will have the ability to query data by vegetation categories. The project will require a significant amount of field work to be completed by SFWMD and Avineon's staff of experts with extensive training and experience in plant identification and the use of GPS to locate and document vegetative species and communities. Avineon will primarily use helicopters to document wetlands and associated habitats thriving within the Everglades.

"The Everglades is a unique place and we're proud to lend our expertise to this monumental undertaking" said Keith Patterson, Director of Photogrammetry, Mapping and GIS for Avineon. "Contributing to CERP holds great importance as it will ultimately restore one of America's largest and most ecologically productive wetlands."

The South Florida Water Management District (www.sfwmd.gov) is a regional, governmental agency that oversees the water resources in the southern half of the state -- 16 counties from Orlando to the Keys. It is the oldest and largest of the state's five water management districts. The agency mission is to manage and protect water resources of the region by balancing and improving water quality, flood control, natural systems and water supply. A key initiative is cleanup and restoration of the Everglades.

Avineon (www.avineon.com), a CMMI Maturity Level 3 and ISO 9001:2000 registered company, is a diversified high technology company that provides Information Technology (IT), geospatial, engineering, and program management services. With headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, and offices in Alabama and Florida, Avineon employs more than 140 staff in the United States, and with subsidiaries in Europe and India employs a total staff of 400. In IT, Avineon specializes in web-based architecture, systems engineering, application development, and on-going network and security support.

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