Biological Opinion Port of Nome Modification Project
Endangered Species Act (ESA) Section 7(a)(2) Biological Opinion Port of Nome Modification Project, POA-2022-00341, Nome, Alaska
NMFS Consultation Number: AKRO-2022-03034
This opinion is based on information provided in the Port of Nome Modification Project Biological Assessment (BA) (USACE 2023) and the proposed IHA application for the same action. A complete record of this consultation is on file at NMFS Alaska Region office.
The proposed action involves the enlargement and improvement of the harbor in Nome, Alaska, to increase vessel capacity and ability of large vessels to maneuver, and to alleviate congestion at existing port facilities.
This opinion considers the effects of disturbance resulting from removing a portion of the existing rubble-mound causeway, extending the causeway in an “L” shape, installing sheet piles and fender piles for new docks, and dredging the new and existing basins. In addition, the effects of project-specific vessel traffic between Anchorage and Nome for the delivery of supplies and equipment is also considered. These actions have the potential to affect the endangered bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus), endangered fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus), endangered North Pacific right whale (Eubalaena japonica), endangered Western North Pacific distinct population segment (DPS) humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), threatened Mexico DPS humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), endangered Western North Pacific DPS gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus), threatened Arctic subspecies of ringed seal (Phoca hispida hispida), threatened Beringia DPS bearded seal (Erignathus barbatus nauticus), endangered Western DPS Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus), endangered Cook Inlet beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas), and critical habitat for ringed and bearded seals, Steller sea lions, Western North Pacific and Mexico DPS humpback whales, North Pacific right whales, and Cook Inlet beluga whales.