Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Russian River Estuary Management Activities, 64440-64441 [2016-22583]

Download as PDF 64440 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 182 / Tuesday, September 20, 2016 / Notices Street, Warwick, RI 02886; telephone: (401) 734–9600. Council address: New England Fishery Management Council, 50 Water Street, Mill 2, Newburyport, MA 01950. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, New England Fishery Management Council; telephone: (978) 465–0492. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Agenda The Monkfish Advisory Panel will receive an overview from the Monkfish Plan Development Team on draft alternatives for Framework 10 regarding specifications for FY 2017–19 and daysat-sea allocation and/or possession limit alternatives. They will also develop recommendations to the Monkfish Committee regarding Framework 10 alternatives as well as discuss other business, as necessary. Although non-emergency issues not contained in this agenda may come before this group for discussion, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. Action will be restricted to those issues specifically listed in this notice and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, provided the public has been notified of the Council’s intent to take final action to address the emergency. Special Accommodations This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, at (978) 465–0492, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: September 15, 2016. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2016–22626 Filed 9–19–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XE877 Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Russian River Estuary Management Activities National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and AGENCY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:13 Sep 19, 2016 Jkt 238001 Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice; receipt of application for Letters of Authorization; request for comments and information. permits/incidental/construction.htm. In case of problems accessing these documents, please call the contact listed above. NMFS has received a request from the Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA) for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to conducting estuary management activities in the Russian River, CA, over the course of five years. Pursuant to regulations implementing the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is announcing receipt of SCWA’s request for the development and implementation of regulations governing the incidental taking of marine mammals. NMFS invites the public to provide information, suggestions, and comments on SCWA’s application and request. DATES: Comments and information must be received no later than October 20, 2016. ADDRESSES: Comments on the application should be addressed to Jolie Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. Physical comments should be sent to 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910 and electronic comments should be sent to ITP.Laws@noaa.gov. Instructions: NMFS is not responsible for comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period. Comments received electronically, including all attachments, must not exceed a 25megabyte file size. Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word or Excel or Adobe PDF file formats only. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted online at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/ incidental/construction.htm without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit confidential business information or otherwise sensitive or protected information. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ben Laws, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, (301) 427–8401. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 101(a)(5)(A) of the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) directs the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) to allow, upon request, the incidental, but not intentional, taking of small numbers of marine mammals by U.S. citizens who engage in a specified activity (other than commercial fishing) if certain findings are made and regulations are issued. Incidental taking shall be allowed if NMFS finds that the taking will have a negligible impact on the species or stock(s) affected and will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of the species or stock(s) for taking for subsistence uses, and if the permissible methods of taking and requirements pertaining to the mitigation, monitoring and reporting of such taking are set forth. NMFS has defined ‘‘negligible impact’’ in 50 CFR 216.103 as ‘‘an impact resulting from the specified activity that cannot be reasonably expected to, and is not reasonably likely to, adversely affect the species or stock through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival.’’ Except with respect to certain activities not pertinent here, the MMPA defines ‘‘harassment’’ as: ‘‘any act of pursuit, torment, or annoyance which (i) has the potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild [Level A harassment]; or (ii) has the potential to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering [Level B harassment].’’ SUMMARY: Availability Electronic copies of SCWA’s application and separate monitoring plan may be obtained by visiting the Internet at: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/ PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Background Summary of Request On September 2, 2016, NMFS received an adequate and complete application from SCWA requesting authorization for take of marine mammals incidental to Russian River estuary management activities in Sonoma County, California. The requested regulations would be valid for five years, from April 21, 2017, through April 20, 2022. The proposed action requires the use of heavy equipment (e.g., bulldozer, excavator) and increased human presence, as well as the use of small boats. As a result, pinnipeds hauled out on the beach or at peripheral haul-outs in the estuary may exhibit behavioral responses that indicate incidental take by Level B harassment under the MMPA. E:\FR\FM\20SEN1.SGM 20SEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 182 / Tuesday, September 20, 2016 / Notices Therefore, SCWA requests authorization to incidentally take marine mammals. NMFS has previously issued seven consecutive one-year incidental harassment authorizations (IHA) to SCWA, for take of marine mammals incidental to similar specified activities. SCWA was first issued an IHA, effective on April 1, 2010 (75 FR 17382), and was subsequently issued one-year IHAs for incidental take associated with the same activities, effective on April 21, 2011 (76 FR 23306), April 21, 2012 (77 FR 24471), April 21, 2013 (78 FR 23746), April 21, 2014 (79 FR 20180), April 21, 2015 (80 FR 24237), and April 21, 2016 (81 FR 22050). Monitoring reports submitted to NMFS as a condition of previously-issued IHAs are available online at: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/ permits/incidental/construction.htm. Specified Activities SCWA plans to manage the naturallyformed barrier beach at the mouth of the Russian River in order to minimize potential for flooding adjacent to the estuary and to enhance habitat for juvenile salmonids, as well as to conduct biological and physical monitoring of the barrier beach and estuary. Flood control-related breaching of barrier beach at the mouth of the river may include artificial breaches, as well as construction and maintenance of a lagoon outlet channel. The latter activity, an alternative management technique conducted to mitigate impacts of flood control on rearing habitat for Endangered Species Act (ESA)-listed salmonids, occurs only from May 15 through October 15 (the ‘‘lagoon management period’’). Artificial breaching and monitoring activities may occur at any time during the period of validity of the proposed regulations. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES Information Solicited Interested persons may submit information, suggestions, and comments concerning SCWA’s request (see ADDRESSES). NMFS will consider all information, suggestions, and comments related to the request during the development of proposed regulations governing the incidental taking of marine mammals by SCWA, if appropriate. Dated: September 13, 2016. Donna S. Wieting, Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2016–22583 Filed 9–19–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:13 Sep 19, 2016 Jkt 238001 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Sea Grant Advisory Board (NSGAB) National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Department of Commerce (DOC). ACTION: Notice of solicitation for nominations for the National Sea Grant Advisory Board and notice of public meeting. AGENCY: This notice responds to Section 209 of the Sea Grant Program Improvement Act of 1976 (Pub. L. 94– 461, 33 U.S.C. 1128), which requires the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) to solicit nominations at least once a year for membership on the National Sea Grant Advisory Board (Board), a Federal Advisory Committee that provides advice on the implementation of the National Sea Grant College Program (NSGCP). To apply for membership to the Board, applicants should submit a current resume to Mrs. Jennifer Hinden using the methods under the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. A cover letter highlighting specific areas of expertise relevant to the purpose of the Board is helpful, but not required. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is an equal opportunity employer. This notice also sets forth the schedule and proposed agenda of a forthcoming meeting of the Board. Board members will discuss and provide advice on the NSGCP in the areas of program evaluation, strategic planning, education and extension, science and technology programs, and other matters as described in the agenda found on the National Sea Grant College Program Web site at http:// seagrant.noaa.gov/WhoWeAre/ Leadership/NationalSeaGrantAdvisory Board/UpcomingAdvisory BoardMeetings.aspx. DATES: Solicitation of nominations is open ended. Resumes may be sent to Mrs. Jennifer Hinden using the methods under the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section, at any time. The announced meeting is scheduled for Sunday, October 9, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. EDT, and Monday, October 10, 2016 from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. EDT. Individuals Selected for Federal Advisory Committee Membership: Upon selection and agreement to serve on the Board, you become a Special Government Employee (SGE) of the United States Government. According to SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 64441 18 U.S.C. 202(a), an SGE is an officer or employee of an agency who is retained, designated, appointed, or employed to perform temporary duties, with or without compensation, not to exceed 130 days during any period of 365 consecutive days, either on a fulltime or intermittent basis. Please be aware that after the selection process is complete, applicants selected to serve on the Board must complete the following actions before they can be appointed as a Board member: (a) Security clearance (on-line background security check process and fingerprinting), and other applicable forms, both conducted through NOAA Workforce Management; and (b) Confidential Financial Disclosure Report—As an SGE, you are required to file a Confidential Financial Disclosure Report annually to avoid involvement in a real or apparent conflict of interest. You may find the Confidential Financial Disclosure Report at the following Web site: https://www.oge.gov/Web/oge.nsf/0/ 98A9E45F947BE66B85257EC1006 4B655/$FILE/oge450%20 (June%202015)%20(fillable).pdf. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Nominations will be accepted by email or mail. They should be sent to the attention of Mrs. Jennifer Hinden, National Sea Grant College Program, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 1315 East-West Highway, SSMC 3, Room 11717, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910, or Jennifer.Hinden@noaa.gov. If you need additional assistance, call 301–734– 1083. For any additional questions concerning the meeting, please contact Mrs. Hinden using the contact information above. ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held at the Newport Marriott Hotel located at 25 America’s Cup Avenue, Newport, RI 02840. Status: The meeting will be open to public participation with a 15-minute public comment period on Sunday, October 9, 2016 at 11:45 a.m. Check the agenda on the Web site to confirm time. The Board expects that public statements presented at its meetings will not be repetitive of previously submitted verbal or written statements. In general, each individual or group making a verbal presentation will be limited to a total time of three (3) minutes. Written comments should be received by Mrs. Jennifer Hinden using the methods under the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section by Friday, September 30, 2016 to provide sufficient time for the Board review. Comments received after the deadline will be E:\FR\FM\20SEN1.SGM 20SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 182 (Tuesday, September 20, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 64440-64441]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-22583]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XE877


Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals 
Incidental to Russian River Estuary Management Activities

AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

ACTION: Notice; receipt of application for Letters of Authorization; 
request for comments and information.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: NMFS has received a request from the Sonoma County Water 
Agency (SCWA) for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to 
conducting estuary management activities in the Russian River, CA, over 
the course of five years. Pursuant to regulations implementing the 
Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is announcing receipt of 
SCWA's request for the development and implementation of regulations 
governing the incidental taking of marine mammals. NMFS invites the 
public to provide information, suggestions, and comments on SCWA's 
application and request.

DATES: Comments and information must be received no later than October 
20, 2016.

ADDRESSES: Comments on the application should be addressed to Jolie 
Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected 
Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. Physical comments should 
be sent to 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910 and 
electronic comments should be sent to ITP.Laws@noaa.gov.
    Instructions: NMFS is not responsible for comments sent by any 
other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the 
end of the comment period. Comments received electronically, including 
all attachments, must not exceed a 25-megabyte file size. Attachments 
to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word or Excel or 
Adobe PDF file formats only. All comments received are a part of the 
public record and will generally be posted online at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/construction.htm without change. All personal 
identifying information (e.g., name, address) voluntarily submitted by 
the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit confidential 
business information or otherwise sensitive or protected information.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ben Laws, Office of Protected 
Resources, NMFS, (301) 427-8401.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Availability

    Electronic copies of SCWA's application and separate monitoring 
plan may be obtained by visiting the Internet at: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/construction.htm. In case of problems accessing 
these documents, please call the contact listed above.

Background

    Section 101(a)(5)(A) of the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) directs 
the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) to allow, upon request, the 
incidental, but not intentional, taking of small numbers of marine 
mammals by U.S. citizens who engage in a specified activity (other than 
commercial fishing) if certain findings are made and regulations are 
issued.
    Incidental taking shall be allowed if NMFS finds that the taking 
will have a negligible impact on the species or stock(s) affected and 
will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of the 
species or stock(s) for taking for subsistence uses, and if the 
permissible methods of taking and requirements pertaining to the 
mitigation, monitoring and reporting of such taking are set forth.
    NMFS has defined ``negligible impact'' in 50 CFR 216.103 as ``an 
impact resulting from the specified activity that cannot be reasonably 
expected to, and is not reasonably likely to, adversely affect the 
species or stock through effects on annual rates of recruitment or 
survival.'' Except with respect to certain activities not pertinent 
here, the MMPA defines ``harassment'' as: ``any act of pursuit, 
torment, or annoyance which (i) has the potential to injure a marine 
mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild [Level A harassment]; or (ii) 
has the potential to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in 
the wild by causing disruption of behavioral patterns, including, but 
not limited to, migration, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or 
sheltering [Level B harassment].''

Summary of Request

    On September 2, 2016, NMFS received an adequate and complete 
application from SCWA requesting authorization for take of marine 
mammals incidental to Russian River estuary management activities in 
Sonoma County, California. The requested regulations would be valid for 
five years, from April 21, 2017, through April 20, 2022. The proposed 
action requires the use of heavy equipment (e.g., bulldozer, excavator) 
and increased human presence, as well as the use of small boats. As a 
result, pinnipeds hauled out on the beach or at peripheral haul-outs in 
the estuary may exhibit behavioral responses that indicate incidental 
take by Level B harassment under the MMPA.

[[Page 64441]]

Therefore, SCWA requests authorization to incidentally take marine 
mammals.
    NMFS has previously issued seven consecutive one-year incidental 
harassment authorizations (IHA) to SCWA, for take of marine mammals 
incidental to similar specified activities. SCWA was first issued an 
IHA, effective on April 1, 2010 (75 FR 17382), and was subsequently 
issued one-year IHAs for incidental take associated with the same 
activities, effective on April 21, 2011 (76 FR 23306), April 21, 2012 
(77 FR 24471), April 21, 2013 (78 FR 23746), April 21, 2014 (79 FR 
20180), April 21, 2015 (80 FR 24237), and April 21, 2016 (81 FR 22050). 
Monitoring reports submitted to NMFS as a condition of previously-
issued IHAs are available online at: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/construction.htm.

Specified Activities

    SCWA plans to manage the naturally-formed barrier beach at the 
mouth of the Russian River in order to minimize potential for flooding 
adjacent to the estuary and to enhance habitat for juvenile salmonids, 
as well as to conduct biological and physical monitoring of the barrier 
beach and estuary. Flood control-related breaching of barrier beach at 
the mouth of the river may include artificial breaches, as well as 
construction and maintenance of a lagoon outlet channel. The latter 
activity, an alternative management technique conducted to mitigate 
impacts of flood control on rearing habitat for Endangered Species Act 
(ESA)-listed salmonids, occurs only from May 15 through October 15 (the 
``lagoon management period''). Artificial breaching and monitoring 
activities may occur at any time during the period of validity of the 
proposed regulations.

Information Solicited

    Interested persons may submit information, suggestions, and 
comments concerning SCWA's request (see ADDRESSES). NMFS will consider 
all information, suggestions, and comments related to the request 
during the development of proposed regulations governing the incidental 
taking of marine mammals by SCWA, if appropriate.

    Dated: September 13, 2016.
Donna S. Wieting,
Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-22583 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P