National Marine Fisheries Service habitat conservation efforts in the southeastern United States for 1988.




Mager, A., Jr.

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Data quantifying the area of habitat affected by Federal programs that regulate development in coastal zones of the southeastern United States are provided for 1988. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) made recommendations on 3,935 proposals requiring Federal permits or licenses to alter wetlands. A survey of 977 of these activities revealed that 359,876 acres of wetlands that support fishery resources under NMFS purview wereproposed for some type of alteration or manipulation. Almost 95 percent of this acreage was for impounding and/or manipulation of water levels in Louisiana marshes. The NMFS did not object to alteration of 173,284 acres and recommended the conservation of 186,592 acres. To offset habitat losses, 1,827 acreas of mitigation were recommended by the NMFS or proposed by applicants and/or the Corps of Engineers (COE). From 1981 to 1988 the NMFS has provided indepth analyses on 8,385 projects proposing the alteration of at least 656,377 acres of wetlands. A follow-up survey on the disposition of 339 permits handled by the COE during 1988 revealed that the COE accepted NMFS recommendations on 68 percent. On a permit-by-permit basis, 13 percent of NMFS recommendations were partially accepted, and 2 percent were withdrawn. The permit request tracked by the NMFS proposed alteration of 2,674 acres of wetlands. The COE issued permits to alter 847 acres or 32 percent of the amount proposed.


p. 7-13.


habitat improvement, habitat, environmental protection, conservation, government policy