Biological Opinion - Construction of the Tongass Narrows Project (Gravina Access)
Endangered Species Act (ESA) Section 7(a)(2) Biological Opinion for Construction of the Tongass Narrows Project (Gravina Access) NMFS Consultation Number: AKRO-2019-03432
For the actions described in this document, the action agencies are the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) and the NMFS Office of Protected Resources Permits and Conservation Division (PR1). FHA proposes to fund construction to improve access to developable land on Gravina Island, improve access to the Ketchikan International Airport, and facilitate economic development in the Ketchikan Gateway Borough (specifically on Gravina Island). PR1 proposes to authorize Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) Level A take (i.e., take by injury) of harbor seals (Phoca vitulina), harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena), and Dall’s porpoise (Phocoenoides dalli), and Level B take (i.e., take by harassment) of eight marine mammal species: harbor seal, harbor porpoise, Dall’s porpoise, Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus), killer whale (Orcinus orca), humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), and Pacific white-sided dolphin (Lagenorhynchus obliquidens), in conjunction with the action.
This project consists of six components that will be constructed in two phases. The environmental review, consultation, and other actions required of the FHA by applicable federal environmental laws for this project are being carried out by the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT&PF) pursuant to 23 U.S.C. § 326 and a Memorandum of Understanding executed by FHA and ADOT&PF.
The consulting agency for this proposal is NMFS’s Alaska Region (AKR). This document represents NMFS’s biological opinion (opinion) on the effects of the proposed construction activities on endangered and threatened species and designated critical habitat.