NOS uses hydroacoustic surveys to map the ocean floor to provide reliable nautical charts, benthic habitat condition and distribution maps, fishery distribution maps, current and tide charts, and other products necessary for safe navigation, economic security, environmental sustainability, and sound marine resource decision-making in U.S. ocean and coastal waters. These charts and maps are needed to provide reliable navigation, ecosystem distribution and condition information to the public, private users, and decision makers. Up-to-date navigation charts are used to ensure safety, efficiency of transit, and economic well-being.
NOS will take other environmental compliance steps concurrently with the preparation of this PEA to include: application for a 5-year Letter of Authorization pursuant to Section 101 of the Marine Mammal Protection Act; completion of a section 7 consultation under the Endangered Species Act; consultation on the Essential Fish Habitat provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act; consultations in compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act; and completion of federal consistency determinations for compliance with the Coastal Zone Management Act. Analysis conducted in support of consultations, including behavioral modeling, will be included in the PEA as appropriate.
NOAA/NOS is issuing a Notice of Intent to advise the public that a programmatic environmental assessment (PEA) will be prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to evaluate the impact of hydroacoustic surveys, mapping and other related data gathering on the environment. NOAA provides this notice to advise other Federal and State agencies, Territories, Tribal Governments, local governments, private parties, and the public of our intent to prepare a PEA, to provide information on the nature of the analysis, and to invite input.
Please submit comments using the below contact information. NOAA is not responsible for comments sent to addresses other than the one provided here. For more details, please refer to the Federal Register notice.