Temporal-spatial Distribution, Movements and Behavior of Beluga Whales Near the Port of Anchorage, Alaska
Annual report of a study by LGL Alaska Research Associates, Inc., sponsored by Integrated Concepts and Research Corporation, the Port of Anchorage, and the U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration, to monitor beluga whale presence, habitat use and behavior in the Port of Anchorage area in 2006.
Data were collected during this period to provide information on beluga whale presence and behavior within and near the Port of Anchorage Marine Terminal Redevelopment Project footprint prior to, and during, Phase I expansion activities. Sightings within the Marine Terminal Redevelopment Project footprint area were distinguished from data collected on beluga whale occurrence and behavior outside the project footprint. This report covers field monitoring during April-November 2006. All measurements and observations were used to determine the frequency at which beluga whales were present in the area over time, and potential beluga whale responses to construction activities. The monitoring program also provided information in real time to construction crews for implementing mitigation measures. The research plan was developed following consultation with Integrated Concepts and Research Corporation ICRC, POA, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA Fisheries). It was intended to meet the monitoring objectives set forth by NOAA Fisheries within the project scope agreed upon by POA, ICRC, NOAA Fisheries, and MARAD. MARAD is the federal funding agency for all work associated with the POA Expansion Project, including this monitoring program.