What triggers an EFH Consultation?
An EFH Consultation is triggered when a federal agency, or its designee, determines that an action to be authorized, funded, or undertaken by the agency may adversely affect EFH.
What is the definition of an EFH 'adverse effect'?
An 'adverse effect' is any impact that reduces the quality and/or quantity of EFH. Adverse effects may include direct or indirect physical, chemical, or biological alterations of the waters or substrate and loss of, or injury to, benthic organisms, prey species and their habitat, and other ecosystem components, if such modifications reduce the quality and/or quantity of EFH. Adverse effects to EFH may result from actions occurring within EFH or outside of EFH and may include site-specific or habitat-wide impacts, including individual, cumulative, or synergistic
consequences of actions.
What are a few examples of actions that affect EFH?
Common activities that may adversely affect EFH include fishing activities, port development, marine disposal of dredged materials, development of coastal wetlands, coastal transportation projects such as roadways, pollutant discharges, and certain resource extraction activities such as mining, logging, and oil and gas exploration. More detailed effect discussions are contained in reports:
- Evaluation of Fishing Activities That May Adversely Affect EFH (Appendix B) (PDF, 1326 pages)
- Assessment of the Effects of Fishing on Essential Fish Habitat in Alaska (PDF, 22 pages)
- Impacts to Essential Fish Habitat from Non-Fishing Activities in Alaska (PDF, 233 pages)
- North Pacific Fishery Management Council EFH Consultation Process with NOAA Fisheries Alaska Region (PDF, 2 pages)
- NOAA Restoration Center EFH Programmatic Consultation for Restoration Center Activities in Alaska (PDF, 27 pages)
- EFH Consultation Guidance
What do federal agencies need to do?
A federal action agency, or its official designee, must determine whether its actions may adversely affect EFH. If the agency determines that an action may adversely affect EFH, the action agency must prepare an EFH Assessment. If the action would not adversely affect EFH, then the agency should document this determination in its record.