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Biological Opinion Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities Permits and Conservation Division Auke Bay East Terminal Improvements Project, Juneau, Alaska

December 22, 2023

Endangered Species Act (ESA) Section 7(a)(2) Biological Opinion for Biological Opinion Alaska DOT&PF Permits and Conservation Division Auke Bay East Terminal Improvements Project, Juneau, Alaska
NMFS Consultation Number: AKRO-2022-02777

This opinion considers the effects of construction activities associated
with maintenance and improvements at the AMHS East Terminal in Auke Bay in Juneau,
Alaska, and the associated proposed issuance of an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA).
These actions may affect the Mexico distinct population segment (DPS) of humpback whales,
Western DPS of Steller sea lions, and sunflower sea stars. No designated critical habitat is
located within the action area. The nearest designated critical habitat, for Steller sea lions, is
Benjamin Island located ~27 km northwest of the project area.

ADOT proposes to remove old pilings and replace them with new pilings to support
replacement of the existing dock structure, including above-water construction to replace a
catwalk access gangway, refurbish the catwalks, upgrade lighting of the dolphins and catwalk,
remove and replace electrical components needed to perform dolphin replacement work, and
install cathodic protection devices anodes on all pilings. The purpose of the project is to
restore the service life of the Alaska Marine Highway Service (AMHS) Auke Bay East Berth ferry
terminal, which was originally built in 1982.

The proposed project site is located at Latitude 58.3814, Longitude -134.6852, on the
northwest side of Auke Bay. Auke Bay is located approximately 18 km north-northwest of
Juneau, AK.

This opinion is based on information provided in the Biological Assessment (BA) and revised BA
submitted by ADOT in March 2023 and May 2023, respectively; the IHA application submitted
by PR1 on October 18, 2022; the proposed IHA published by PR1 on April 13, 2023, email and
telephone conversations between NMFS Alaska Region, ADOT, and NMFS PR1 staff; and other
sources of information cited in the References section. A complete record of this consultation
is on file at NMFS’s Juneau, Alaska office.

Last updated by Alaska Regional Office on 05/09/2024

Biological Opinions Section 7 Consultation Humpback Whale