Biological Opinion on Icy Strait Point Cruise Ship Terminal Development in Hoonah, Alaska and Issuance of Incidental Harassment Authorization to the Hoonah Totem Corporation
Biological opinion on the potential effects of the Icy Strait Point cruise ship terminal development on the Western DPS of Steller sea lions, listed as endangered under the ESA. NMFS Consultation Number: AKR-2015-9440
The purpose of the project is to construct a permanent cruise ship berth, renovate existing tourist facilities and construct additional tourist facilities to support cruise ship terminal operations at the site and projected increases to tourist traffic. Current cruise ship operations require anchoring the vessel offshore, and lightering of passengers to shore. The new facility would allow passengers to directly access the shore from the cruise ship at berth. The new terminal has been designed as a floating platform to disembark/embark passengers so that there is a fixed elevation between the dock surface and the ships' gangways. The proposed action will require work below the mean higher high water mark of Icy Strait and Port Frederick, as well as work within non-tidal waters of the United States, which will require Section 10/404 permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This represents a federal nexus requiring that the USACE evaluate the potential for effects to species or critical habitats listed or proposed for listing under the Endangered Species Act. The USACE served as the lead agency in this consultation. In addition, the issuance of a permit to Hoonah Totem Corporation to incidentally take marine mammals under the MMPA creates a federal nexus requiring that NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources - Permits and Conservation Division evaluate the potential for effects to species or critical habitats listed or proposed for listing under the ESA.
Action Agencies: US Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District and NOAA Fisheries