Federal Agency Comments – NOAA Habitat Conservation Division


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) includes a “Habitat Conservation Division” which is responsible for protecting Essential Fish Habitat (EFH).  Look here for a complete description of Essential Fish Habitat and the legal and regulatory framework for protecting it.

The mission of NOAA HCD is described as follows: “The NOAA Fisheries Office of Habitat Conservation protects, restores, and promotes stewardship of coastal and marine habitat to support our nation’s fisheries for future generations.”

After analyzing the Summers End Group permit application, NOAA Habitat Conservation arrived at the following recommendation:

EFH Conservation Recommendation
In addition to the impacts to ARNI, NMFS concludes the docking structure construction, mooring facility, and upland development will adversely impact EFH.  Section 305(b)(4)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act requires NMFS to provide EFH conservation recommendations when an activity is expected to adversely impact EFH.

The Department of the Army shall not authorize the project as proposed.

The full text of the NOAA Habitat Conservation letter is shown below: