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Issuance of an incidental harassment authorization to Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory to take marine mammals by harassment incidental to a marine geophysical survey in the Atlantic Ocean, April - June, 2013 : environmental assessment
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Filetype[PDF-2.73 MB]

  • Alternative Title:
    Effects of issuing a permit for scientific research on protected sea turtles in the remote Pacific Islands (file no. 17022) ; 130408_EA_IHA_LD_Mid-Atlantic_Survey_L.pdf ; NMFS environmental assessment - 2013Mid-Atlantic ridge seismic survey ;
  • Description:
    "This EA titled, Issuance of an Incidental Harassment Authorization to Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory to Take Marine Mammals by Harassment Incidental to a Marine Geophysical Survey in the Atlantic Ocean, April - June, 2013, focuses primarily on the environmental effects of authorizing the take of marine mammals incidental to the Observatory's activities. To evaluate the effects of conducting the marine geophysical (seismic) survey in the Atlantic ocean during a period between April and May, 2013, the National Science Foundation (Foundation) has prepared a Draft Environmental Analysis of a Marine Geophysical Survey by the R/V Marcus G. Langseth on the mid-Atlantic Ridge, April-May 2013. We do not duplicate their analysis; rather we incorporate it by reference as explained further in this document. The Foundation's 2013 analysis tiers to the 2011 Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement for Marine Seismic Research Funded by the National Science Foundation or Conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey (NSF, 2011) which considers all impacts of conducting a seismic survey. We incorporate the 2011 programmatic EIS by reference. Last, we published a notice for the proposed Authorization in the Federal Register (78 FR 10137, February 13, 2013; (NMFS, 2013)) which provided a detailed description of the proposed seismic survey and environmental information and issues related to it. We also incorporate that notice by reference. We have prepared this EA to assist in determining whether the direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts related to our issuance of an Authorization under the MMPA for marine mammals for the Observatory's survey is likely to result in significant impacts to the human or natural environment. This EA is intended to inform our decision on issuing the Authorization. While the focus of this EA is on the effects caused by the proposed issuance of an Authorization, in combining this analysis with the analyses in the previously referenced documents, we have considered all impacts associated with the underlying action which is the full suite of activities conducted for their proposed seismic survey. We anticipate the issuance of an Authorization to take small numbers of marine mammals incidental to the Observatory's specified activities in a specific geographic region to affect marine mammals and their habitat. Our NEPA analysis further evaluates effects to marine mammals and their habitat due to the specific scope of the decision for which we are responsible (i.e., whether or not to issue the Incidental Harassment Authorization which includes prescribed means of incidental take, mitigation measures, and monitoring requirements). Our review of public comments submitted in response to our notice for the proposed Authorization in the Federal Register (78 FR 10137, February 13, 2013) did not reveal additional environmental impacts or issues requiring analysis in this EA"--Executive summary (pages 4-5).
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