Environmental Assessment of a National Marine Fisheries Service Action to Designate Critical Habitat for Steller Sea Lions
Analysis of designating critical habitat for Steller sea lions
This environmental assessment (EA) was prepared to analyze the environmental and economic effects of designating critical habitat for the Steller sea lion, a species listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The National Marine Fisheries sarvico (NMFS) is proposing to designate (1) all Steller sea lion rookeries and major haulouts (i.e. >200 Steller sea lions) located within state and federally managed waters off Alaska, including a zone that extends 3,000 feet (0.9 km) landward and vertical of each rookery and major haulout boundary and that extends either 3,000 feet (0.9 km) seaward from rookeries and major haulouts in Alaska located east of 144 W. longitude, ·or 20-nm seaward from rookeries and major haulout sites west of 144 W. longitude; (2) all Steller sea lion rookeries in state And federally managed waters off Washington, Oregon and California, including the zone that extends 3,000 feet (0.9 km) vertical and seaward from each rookery; and (3) three aquatic foraging habitats within the core of the Steller sea lion's geographic range, one aquatic zone located exclusively in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA), and two aquatic zones in the Bering Sea/Aleutian lslands area (BSAI). No adverse environmental or economic effects are expected to result from the proposed critical habitat designation.