Distribution, Habitat Use, and Behavior of Cook Inlet Beluga Whales and Other Marine Mammals at the Port of Anchorage Marine Terminal Redevelopment Project June – November 2008
Marine mammal and Cook Inlet beluga whale behavior during the Port of Anchorage Marine Terminal construction
This document presents information on Cook Inlet beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas) and other marine mammal presence, habitat use, and behavior around the Port of Anchorage during Phase II of the Marine Terminal Redevelopment Project during the summer of 2008.
The Scientific Marine Mammal Monitoring Program was developed to address the following objectives: Alaska Pacific University 1 Scientific Marine Mammal Monitoring Annual Report 2008 1. Estimate the frequency at which beluga whales and other marine mammals are present in and adjacent to the MTR project footprint. 2. Characterize habitat use, movements and behavior of beluga whales during icefree months in Knik Arm, Upper Cook Inlet, in proximity to the Port. 3. Observe, analyze and document potential changes in the behavior of beluga whales in response to in-water construction work, including pile driving and fill placement. 4. Inform the Construction Person-in-Charge (PIC) of the proximity of beluga whales to the MTRP construction area, so that in-water construction activities may be shut down if: a. any number of beluga whales approach within the safety zone of 200 m (656 ft) during impact or vibratory pile driving b. a group of whales (five or more) or a calf or calves approach within 350 m (1,148 ft) during impact pile driving activities c. a group of whales (five or more) or a calf or calves approach within 800 m (2,624 ft) during vibratory pile driving