NOAA Fisheries has published a notice of intent in the Federal Register announcing preparation of the Southern California Aquaculture Opportunity Area Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement.
The EIS seeks to assess impacts of identifying one or more aquaculture opportunity areas in federal waters of the Southern California Bight, a 430-mile stretch of curved coastline that runs from Southern California to the Mexican peninsula of Baja California.
The notice of intent initiates a formal 60-day public scoping period for the programmatic EIS that closes on July 22. During this time, NOAA would seek public comment to inform the scope and content of the programmatic EIS.
NOAA Fisheries’ effort is in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District.
U.S. Coast Guard District Eleven and the Environmental Protection Agency Region 9 would be cooperating agencies on the programmatic EIS, and other agencies could opt to join as cooperating or participating agencies as the process goes forward.
Public comments may be submitted in writing as well as during two virtual public meetings planned for June 27 and July 11. Information on how to submit comments is available online at the NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region AOA Public Scoping Meetings page, which can be found at fisheries.noaa.gov.
NOAA Fisheries said that it and their federal partners plan to use feedback from industry, states, local communities, tribal governments, commercial and recreational fisheries organizations, fishery management councils, the environmental non-government community and other key stakeholders to determine the range of aquaculture types and systems they evaluate in the programmatic EIS.
Questions regarding the notice of intent may be directed to Diane Windham at firstname.lastname@example.org.