NOAA views on potential environmental risks of Louisiana Coastal Restoration Plan

NOAA views on potential environmental risks of Louisiana Coastal Restoration Plan

“NMFS supports efforts to ameliorate coastal wetland loss in Louisiana to maintain socio economic, storm protection, and ecological services these habitats provide. Most coastal restoration efforts can benefit nursery and foraging functions supportive of a wide variety of economically important marine fishery species. However, the proposed diversion may have adverse impacts to economically important estuarine/marine fisheries and their habitats. NMFS is concerned the MBSD could (1) displace marine fishery species from currently productive habitats to less supportive habitats, (2) reduce marine fishery productivity, (3) convert essential fish habitat (EFH) to areas no longer supportive of some federally managed marine fishery species or their prey items, (4) render wetlands impacted by diversions more susceptible to erosion from storms, (5) degrade water quality, and (6) cause socio-economic hardship to those involved in the commercial and recreational fishing industries. To allow for informed decision making, these issues should be thoroughly evaluated by methods acceptable to NMFS and the results incorporated into the planned EIS.”

Also see the comments on diversions in the NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program – Science Plan

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