NOAA Eelgrass Part 2 - Bay Planning Coalition

Southern California Eelgrass
Mitigation Policy
 NMFS, USFWS, and CDFG (1991)
 Effective compensation for impacts (90% success)
 Basis for consistent recommendations
 Streamlined environmental review
 Allows for flexibility and modifications
 Improved monitoring and understanding
III. Purpose and Need –
Why statewide policy?
 Resource value: biological, physical and economic
 Vulnerable to human development
 Consistent statewide strategy and standards
 Internal and external coordination
 Streamlining
 Regulatory certainty
IV. Draft Policy – General Description
No net loss of habitat
Consistency with case-by-case considerations
Following successful model of
Southern CA
Recognizes regional differences
Internal guidance and appendices
V. Draft Policy – Specific Elements
Avoiding and minimizing impacts
Assessing impacts
Mitigating for impacts
Modifying provisions of the policy
A. Impact Avoidance and Minimization
Case-by-case basis
• Stepwise key
• Flowchart
• Light monitoring
Circulation Patterns
B. Eelgrass Surveys
Survey Metrics
Spatial distribution
Area extent
Percent bottom cover
Shoot density
Frequency of occurrence
Eelgrass Bed Definition
Example Eelgrass Bed
10 m boundary
Contiguous boundary around plants and
outward a distance of 10 m, excluding gaps
within the bed >20 m between plants
B. Eelgrass Surveys (cont.)
 Techniques
Diver transects
Boundary mapping
Acoustic surveys
Aerial surveys
 Methods
• Pre- and post-construction
• During active growing season
• Valid for 60 days or beginning of next growing season
C. Assessing Impacts
Type of effect: direct vs indirect
Pre- and post- surveys of project and
reference sites
D. Mitigating for Impacts
Site Selection
Mitigation ratio
Mitigation Ratios
 “The Five-Step Wetland Mitigation Calculator” (King
and Price 2004)
• Objective, standardized ratios
• Standard metrics
• Likelihood of success based on history of transplanting
within regions
 Compensation ratio 1.2:1 for all regions
 Initial target mitigation ratio
Southern California 1.38:1
Central California 1.2:1
San Francisco 3.01:1
Northern California 4.82:1
Mitigation Monitoring
Mitigation site and reference site
0 months: document transplants, establish
baseline at reference site
6 months: confirm survival and/or recruitment
12, 24, 36, 48, 60 months: evaluate mitigation
site and compare to reference site
Success Criteria
Area and density criteria
6 month: 50% survival or 1 seedling/4m2
12 month: 40% area and 20% density
24 months: 85% area and 70% density
36, 48, 60 months: 100% area and 85% density
Supplemental Mitigation Area
Mitigation Delay
To offset loss of eelgrass habitat value that
accumulates over time
Mitigation calculator used to determine
increases in mitigation planting
E. Modifying Provisions
Comprehensive management strategies
Localized, temporary impacts
• Less than 10 m2
• Eelgrass fully restored within 1 year
Region-specific modifications
Mitigation banking
VI. Next Steps
Public comment
• [email protected]
• Closes 7/7
Public meetings
• Eureka (6/15)
• Oakland (6/27)
• Long Beach (6/26)
Revise and finalize

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