Strait of Juan de Fuca GRP

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Site Description

The Strait of Juan de Fuca is located in the northwest corner of Washington State along the U.S./Canadian border. The Strait is a deep water body connecting the Pacific Ocean and the inland waters of Washington State. It is generally divided into two subregions: the outer strait – west of Ediz Hook – and the inner strait.

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The outer strait supports significant populations of groundfish, clams, shrimp, sea urchins, and Dungeness crab, as well as other fisheries resources. The inner strait is also very productive and species-rich area, supporting large populations of birds, mammals, fish, and shellfish. It is one of the major habitats for marine birds on the Pacific coast of North America. Local economies are based primarily on natural resource use and tourism.

Refer to Resources at Risk for more detailed natural resource information.

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Physical Features

The two subregions of the Strait of Juan de Fuca may include the following shoreline habitats:

  • Exposed rocky headlands
  • Wave-cut platforms
  • Pocket beaches along exposed rocky shores
  • Sand beaches
  • Sand and gravel beaches
  • Sand and cobble beaches
  • Exposed tidal flats
  • Sheltered rocky shores
  • Sheltered tidal flats
  • Sheltered marshes
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Two important features within the inner strait are Ediz Hook and Dungeness Spit. They are accreted gravel spits which protect embayments. The bay inside of Ediz Hook has been dominated by commercial activity from the Port Angeles harbor. Dungeness Spit and Bay are located inside a national wildlife refuge. Activities there include oyster-farming and recreation. The extensive tideflats in this area support a diverse body of marine organisms and shorebirds.

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Hydrology

The Strait of Juan de Fuca is characterized hydrographically as a two-layer system. The upper 30 meter layer is relatively fresh water and the lower layer more saline. The Strait receives a large freshwater influx from the Fraser River and Puget Sound drainages. The two periods of high freshwater runoff occur during spring now melt and late fall and winter.

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Climate and Winds

Tidal ranges average between four and ten feet producing strong tidal currents. Currents in the Strait may reach two to four knots, depending on tidal range and prevailing winds. North and west-facing shorelines along the Strait are subject to the largest waves and are high energy areas.

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The Strait of Juan de Fuca is affected by strong winds, most notably from the west. These winds occur when high pressure is pushing strongly behind the passage of a cold front from the west. The westerlies often reach gale force.

A strong east wind is possible when an Arctic cold front pushes south from interior British Columbia into Western Washington. These conditions may contribute to strong easterlies at certain times of year. These winds may also reach gale force.

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Tides and Currents

Tidal ranges average between four and ten feet producing strong tidal currents. Currents in the Strait may reach two to four knots, depending on tidal range and prevailing winds. North and west-facing shorelines along the Strait are subject to the largest waves and are high energy areas.

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Resources at Risk

This chapter provides a summary of natural, cultural, and economic resources at risk in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It provides general information on habitat, fish, and wildlife resources, and locations in the area where sensitive natural resource concerns have been identified. It offers a summary of cultural resources that include fundamental procedures for the discovery of cultural artifacts and human skeletal remains.  General information about flight restrictions, wildlife deterrence, and oiled wildlife can be found near the end of this section.  A list of economic resources in the area is provided in the appendix.

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This chapter is purposely broad in scope and should not be considered comprehensive.  Some of the sensitive resources described in this chapter cannot be addressed in Chapter 4 (Response Strategies and Priorities) because it is not possible to conduct effective response activities in these locations.  Additional information from private organizations or federal, state, tribal, and local government agencies should also be sought during spills.

This material is presented with enough detail to give general information about the area during the first phase of a spill response.  During an actual incident, more information about resources at risk will be available from the Environmental Unit within the Planning Section.

Note: specific resource concerns related to areas that already have designated protection strategies may be found in the “Resources At Risk” column of the matrix describing the individual strategies.

The information provided in this chapter can be used in:

  • Assisting the Environmental Unit (EU) and Operations Sections in developing additional response strategies beyond those in the Response Strategies and Priorities section.
  • Providing resource at risk “context” to responders, clean-up workers, and others during the initial phase of a spill response in the GRP area.
  • Briefing responders and incident command staff that may be unfamiliar with sensitive resource concerns in the GRP area.
  • Providing background information for personnel involved in media presentations and public outreach during a spill incident.
  • Providing information on benthic and water column species or cultural resources present to assist in planning for oils with the potential to sink or submerge.

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Natural Resources at Risk – Summary

This area contains a wide variety of aquatic, riparian, and upland habitats. These habitats support many of Washington’s anadromous salmonid species as well as a complex diversity of other wildlife including mammals, birds, and amphibians. Due to their life histories and/or behaviors, some of these species are unlikely to be directly oiled during a spill incident but may be disturbed by other operations such as cleanup, reconnaissance, or fire suppression activities.  Some of the bird species are resident throughout the year, but many others seasonally migrate outside the basin.

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A number of the species found in this area are classified as threatened or endangered under the Federal Endangered Species Act or Washington State guidelines.

Classification types are:

  • Federal Endangered (FE)
  • Federal Threatened (FT)
  • Federal Candidate (FC)
  • State Endangered (SE)
  • State Threatened (ST)
  • State Sensitive (SS)

Federal and State Threatened and Endangered species that may occur within this area, at some time of year, include:

Birds:

  • common loon [SS]
  • marbled murrelet [FT/SE]
  • northern spotted owl [FT/SE]
  • sandhill crane [SE]
  • short-tailed albatross [FE]
  • tufted puffin [SE]

Mammals:

  • blue whale [FE/SE]
  • fin whale [FE/SE]
  • fisher [SE]
  • gray whale (western North Pacific) [FE/SS]
  • humpback whale (Central America) [FE/SE]
  • humpback whale (Mexico) [FT/SE]
  • killer whale (southern resident) [FE/SE]
  • right whale (north Pacific) [FE/SE]
  • sea otter [ST]
  • sei whale [FE/SE]
  • sperm whale [FE/SE]

Fish:

  • bocaccio rockfish [FE]
  • bull trout [FT]
  • chum salmon (Hood Canal, summer) [FT]
  • chinook salmon (Puget Sound) [FT]
  • green sturgeon [FT]
  • steelhead (Puget Sound) [FT]
  • yelloweye rockfish [FT]

Insects:

  • Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly [FE/SE]

Plants:

  • Golden paintbrush [FT]

Critical habitats are the specific areas occupied by an endangered or threatened species that contain the physical or biological features that are essential to the conservation of that species – and that may need special management or protection. Critical habitat may also include areas that were not occupied by the species at the time of listing but are essential to its conservation.

Critical Habitats for the following species have been federally designated within this area:

  • bocaccio rockfish
  • bull trout
  • Chinook salmon (Puget Sound)
  • chum salmon (Hood Canal, summer)
  • green sturgeon
  • humpback whale (Central American population)
  • humpback whale (Mexican population)
  • killer whale (southern resident)
  • marbled murrelet
  • northern spotted owl
  • steelhead (Puget Sound)
  • Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly
  • yelloweye rockfish

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General Resource Concerns

Habitats:

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  • Intertidal and shallow subtidal mud/sand flats occur in bays throughout the region and at the mouth of the Pysht River. These habitats are rich in benthic and epibenthic organisms, creating important foraging areas for salmon, crabs, fishes, and shorebirds.
  • Sandy/Rocky shorelines can be found throughout the region. These areas support marine mammal haulout and pupping, nesting for gulls, guillemots, and oystercatchers, and spawning habitat for forage fish.
  • Extensive areas of eelgrass in Dungeness, Sequim and Discovery Bays serve as important nursery and foraging areas for crab, salmonids, other fishes, and waterfowl.
  • The kelp beds present in nearshore areas along much of this region’s shoreline serve as important fish rearing areas.
  • Salt marsh habitat areas scattered throughout this region support a diverse array of birds, insect and fish and wildlife species. Channels through salt marsh serve as nursery areas for salmonids and crabs, and as roosting areas and foraging habitat for shorebirds and waterfowl.
  • Most rivers and streams flowing into the strait provide spawning and rearing habitat for a diverse array of salmonid species and amphibians. The associated riparian scrub and woodlands play a crucial role in supporting a large diversity and abundance of songbird species as breeding, migrating, and overwintering habitat.
  • The open waters of the strait are important migration corridors for many species of fish, birds and marine mammals.
  • Offshore rocks and islands support several of Washington’s largest seabird colonies and serve as important as marine mammal haulout areas.
  • The subtidal habitats in this area include:
    • Soft sediments, such as clay, mud, sand, and gravel. These areas are broad flat and relatively level. Animals that tend to live on the surface of these habitats may include sea cucumber, sea stars, crustaceans (such as crab and shrimp), and bottom fish such as skate, cod, and the flat fishes.
      These soft sediment habitats also support shellfish and other invertebrates including copepods (a major food source for salmonids, forage fish and shorebirds), bivalves, worms, brittle stars, and shrimplike crustaceans. The burrowing or foraging activities of these animals may penetrate up to one meter below the subsurface bottom.
    • Rock reefs serve as important habitat for a wide range of species including mobile invertebrates (e.g. snails, sea slugs, sea cucumbers, sea stars, etc.) and immobile species (e.g. anemones, barnacles, shellfish, sponges, tubeworms, etc.). Macro algae and kelps also widely utilize the structure that this type of habitat provides. The crevices and overhangs associated with these reefs serve as valuable habitat for a wide variety of other species such as crabs, shrimp, octopus, wolf eel, rockfish, and lingcod. If located within their capabilities to dive, these areas may also serve as important foraging areas for birds and marine mammals.
    • Non-hard rock walls are composed of steep consolidated glacial deposits. These structures function much like rock reefs but with a more permeable surface due to animal activity and geological processes that erode out small boulders leaving temporary pockets in the surface of the structure. The plant and animal life in these habitats is similar to that described for rock reefs except that long-lived immobile life forms (i.e. sea anemones) may be less abundant due to the sloughing of the wall surfaces.
    • Boulder and cobble fields. Larger, relatively stable boulders provide many of the same ecological functions described for rock reefs while the interstitial spaces under the sides and between boulders offer enhanced spaces for refuge of bottom dwelling invertebrates and fish. The relative instability of the smaller cobbles makes them less valuable to immobile marine life, although many marine organisms may still live on, or between, the cobblestones. These areas may also serve as important foraging areas for other species of fish and crustaceans. As with the rocky reefs, these habitats may also serve as important foraging areas for birds and marine mammals as well, if these areas are located within these species capacity to dive. Depending on the typical pattern of currents in the area, the spaces between the rocks may fill with soft sediments that can also support bottom dwelling life forms.
    • Water column. Due to light penetration and nutrient availability, much of the primary marine productivity in this region occurs in the upper 30 meters of the water column. In addition to the presence of planktonic algae, this part of the water column is populated with the larval phases of fish and a wide range of invertebrates – particularly during the spring plankton blooms. The water column serves as habitat for wide-ranging fish such as salmon, forage fish (herring, smelt, sandlance), sharks, etc., as well as a wide variety of birds and marine mammals.

Fish and Shellfish:

  • Adult salmonids of all species are seasonally present during their migrations to spawning grounds in the strait or elsewhere in Washington waters. Major salmon runs occur in both the Elwha and Dungeness Rivers, with additional spawning in up to 50 other smaller streams and rivers. The Elwha and Dungeness Rivers and Morse Creek also support runs of bull trout.
  • Forage fish spawning occurs throughout the region. Herring spawning is associated with eelgrass habitats in Kilisut Harbor, Dungeness, Sequim and Discovery Bays. Sandlance and surf smelt spawning is associated with sand and gravel beaches throughout the strait.
  • The intertidal and shallow subtidal areas in Dungeness, Sequim and Discovery Bays and off the south shore of Protection Island provide critical habitat for Dungeness crabs.
  • Hardshell clams are found throughout the eastern half of the strait, primarily in the large, shallow bays from Port Angeles, eastward.
  • Shrimp, abalone, geoducks and sea urchins are found throughout the region, with some locations supporting commercial or tribal fisheries.

Wildlife:

  • Protection, Tatoosh, Smith, and Minor Islands are among the state’s most important seabird nesting colonies. Other, smaller, seabird breeding sites are scattered throughout the strait.
  • Nearly the entire breeding population of common murres in coastal Washington and northern Oregon moves through the strait in late summer, following the nesting season. Many of these birds remain to overwinter in the strait until the spring.
  • Black oystercatchers are residents throughout the area with increasing abundance during the winter months due to an influx of birds from Alaska and British Columbia. Large groups of nonbreeding oystercatchers can regularly be found at Smith and Minor islands, and Tongue Point.
  • Large numbers of waterfowl and shorebirds use the eastern bays of the strait for migratory staging or wintering areas.
  • Numerous bald eagles nest along shorelines throughout the strait.
  • Harbor seal haulouts and pupping areas occur throughout the entire strait, with major concentrations occurring at Dungeness Spit, Protection Island, and Smith and Minor Islands. Elephant seals haulout and pup on Protection, Smith and Minor islands. The single Steller sea lion haulout at Tatoosh Island supports relatively low numbers of non-breeding animals, however individuals or small groups of Steller sea lions haul out throughout the area in winter.
  • A few sea otters may be found year-round near Tatoosh Island, and small numbers occasionally winter in the strait as far east as Pillar Point.
  • The nearshore waters of this region support small numbers of gray whales, both spring migrants and summer “residents”, with the latter occurring predominantly in the western half of the strait. Humpback whales (including Mexican and Central American populations) are also becoming more common throughout the area.
  • While rare, deep-water species of whale such as the blue, fin, and sperm whales may potentially be present with the straits.
  • Killer whales (southern resident, transient and/or offshore populations) are potentially present in the area at any time of the year.
  • Dall’s porpoise and harbor porpoise are common throughout the strait.

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Specific Geographic Areas of Concern – Overview

Eastern Section (see Figure 1)

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  1. Smith and Minor Islands: Offshore rocks and islands, kelp, and sandy/rocky shoreline habitats. Federally threatened Puget Sound chinook critical habitat. Seabird, waterfowl, and shorebird concentration area. Second largest seabird nesting colony in Washington’s interior waters and supports eagle and oystercatcher nesting. Marine mammal haulout and pupping area. USFWS National Wildlife Refuge.
  2. Crockett Lake/Keystone Harbor (Whidbey Island): Wetland and eelgrass habitats. Forage fish spawning. Federally threatened Puget Sound chinook critical habitat. Waterfowl and shorebird concentration area. Federally threatened golden paintbrush and federally endangered Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly at Ebey’s Landing. State Park. Public ferry.
  3. Discovery Bay: Wetlands, eelgrass, and floating kelp (mouth of bay) habitats. Salmonid spawning and rearing habitats. Federally threatened bull trout, Hood Canal summer-run chum, and Puget Sound chinook, along with designated critical habitats. Forage fish spawning habitat. Dungeness crab and shellfish. Waterfowl and shorebird concentrations (fall-spring). Heron and raptor nesting. Harbor seal haul outs. State Park.
  4. Protection Island: Offshore rocks and islands, eelgrass, and floating kelp. Federally threatened golden paintbrush. Shellfish and shrimp. Puget Sound chinook and Hood Canal summer-run chum designated critical habitat. Waterfowl, shorebird, and seabird concentrations. Largest seabird nesting colony in Washington’s interior waters. Oystercatcher and eagle nesting. Elephant and harbor seal haulout and pupping area. USFWS National Wildlife Refuge and WDFW Seabird Sanctuary.
  5. Sequim Bay: Wetlands, eelgrass, and floating kelp (outside of spit) habitats. Salmonid spawning and rearing habitats. Forage fish spawning. Federally threatened bull trout, Puget Sound steelhead, Hood Canal summer-run chum, and Puget Sound chinook, with designated critical habitats. Shellfish and shrimp. Waterfowl and shorebird concentrations. Raptor nesting. Marbled murrelet presence and designated critical habitat.
  6. Dungeness Spit/Jamestown area: Intertidal and shallow subtidal mud/sand flats, salt marsh, eelgrass, floating kelp and riverine habitats. Dungeness River mouth and associated salt marsh habitat. Federally listed bull trout, Hood Canal summer-run chum, and Puget Sound chinook, with designated critical habitats. Waterfowl, shorebird, seabird, and raptor concentration area. Salmonid spawning and rearing habitats. Forage fish spawning. Dungeness crab and shellfish. Steller sea lion, elephant and harbor seal haulout; harbor seal pupping area. Federally endangered Taylor’s checker spot butterfly presence. USFWS National Wildlife Refuge.

A map of the eastern third of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, including Sequim to Whidbey Island. Red numbers on the map correspond to the numbered locations in the text above.

Figure 1 – Eastern Part of GRP

 

Central Section (see Figure 2)

  1. Port Angeles: Wetland, eelgrass, and floating kelp (outside of spit) habitats. Concentrations of waterfowl, shorebirds, seabirds, and common loons. Small numbers of nesting seabirds. Salmonid spawning and rearing habitat. Forage fish spawning habitat. Federally threatened bull trout, Puget Sound steelhead and Puget Sound chinook, with designated critical habitats. Dungeness crab and shellfish. Small harbor seal haulouts on log booms/rafts. Numerous public parks and beaches.
  2. Freshwater Bay: Wetlands, eelgrass, floating kelp and riverine habitats. Salmonid spawning and rearing habitats. Forage fish spawning. Federally threatened bull trout, Puget Sound steelhead, and Puget Sound chinook, with designated critical habitat. Dungeness crab and shellfish. Waterfowl and common loon concentrations. Marbled murrelet presence. Raptor nesting. Tribal lands and resources.
  3. Crescent Bay: Marine wetlands, salt marsh, eelgrass, and floating kelp habitats. Salmonid spawning and rearing habitats. Federally threatened bull trout and designated critical habitat. Dungeness crab and shellfish. Common loon concentration. Marine mammal haul outs. Gray whale presence. Salt Creek Recreation Area.

A map of the middle third of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, including Port Angeles to Port Crescent. Red numbers on the map correspond to the numbered locations in the text above.

Figure 2 – Central Part of GRP

Western Section (see Figure 3)

  1. Pysht River Estuary: Wetlands, saltmarsh, intertidal mudflats, and floating kelp. Salmonid spawning and rearing habitat. Forage fish spawning. Federally threatened bull trout and designated critical habitat. Dungeness crab and shellfish. Waterfowl and shorebird concentrations (fall-spring). Marbled murrelet breeding.
  2. Clallam Bay: Wetlands and floating kelp. Salmonid spawning and rearing habitat. Forage fish spawning. Dungeness crab and shellfish. Marine mammal haul out.
  3. Hoko River: Wetlands and intertidal habitats. Floating kelp. Salmonid spawning and rearing habitats. Urchin and shellfish. Intermittent sea otter presence. Tribal lands and resources.
  4. Neah Bay: Wetlands and intertidal habitats. Floating kelp. Seabird concentration and nesting colony. Salmonid spawning and rearing habitats. Dungeness crab, urchins, and shellfish. Marine mammal haul out. Intermittent sea otter presence. Tribal lands and resources.
  5. Tatoosh Island: Marine wetlands. Floating kelp. Seabird concentration and nesting colonies (3rd largest in WA). Shorebird concentration. Marine mammal haulout. Intermittent sea otter presence. Tribal lands and resources.

A map of the western third of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, including Pillar Point to Cape Flattery. Red numbers on the map correspond to the numbered locations in the text above.

Figure 3 – Western Part of GRP

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Cultural Resources at Risk – Summary

Culturally significant resources are present within the planning area.  Information regarding the type and location of cultural resources is maintained by the Washington Department of Archeology and Historic Preservation (WDAHP).  This sensitive information is made available to the Washington Department of Ecology for oil spill preparedness and response planning.  The Tribal Historic Preservation Offices (THPOs) or Cultural Resource Departments of local tribes (see table below) may also be able to provide information on cultural resources at risk in the area and should be contacted, along with WDAHP, through normal trustee notification processes when significant oil spills, or smaller spills above reportable thresholds, occur in the area.

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During a spill response, after the Unified Command is established, information related to specific archeological concerns will be coordinated through the Environmental Unit.  In order to ensure that tactical response strategies do not inadvertently harm culturally sensitive sites, WDAHP should be consulted before disturbing any soil or sediment during a response action, including submerged soils or sediments.  WDAHP and/or the Tribal governments may assign a person, or provide a list of professional archeologists that can be contracted, to monitor response activities and cleanup operations for the protection of cultural resources at risk.  Due to the sensitive nature of such information, details regarding the location and type of cultural resources present are not included in this document.

In addition to the listed Tribes and Nations, there may be additional Tribes with “Usual and Accustomed” fishing and hunting rights, including Canadian First Nations. Please consult the Tribal Coordinator or Liaison Officer within Unified Command for more information. WDAHP’s tribal consultation tools, including an area of interest map, may help identify additional tribal (US) government contacts during a spill (https://dahp.wa.gov/archaeology/tribal-consultation-information).

Contact Phone Email
Washington Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation (360) 586-3080 Rob.Whitlam@dahp.wa.gov
Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe (360) 681-4638 dbrownell@jamestowntribe.org
Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe (360) 460-1617 bill.white@elwha.nsn.us
Lummi Nation, THPO (360) 312-2257
(360) 961-7752
lenat@lummi-nsn.gov
Makah Nation, THPO (360) 645-2711 makahthpo@gmail.com
Muckleshoot Tribe, Archaeologist (253) 876-3272 laura.murphy@muckleshoot.nsn.us
Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe (360) 297-6359 marieh@pgst.nsn.us
Puyallup Tribe of Indians (253) 573-7986 brandon.reynon@puyalluptribe.com
Samish Nation, THPO (360) 726-3399 jferry@samishtribe.nsn.us
Sauk-Suiattle (360) 436 0131 thpo@sauk-suiattle.com 
Skokomish Indian Tribe, THPO (360) 426-4232 x2015 shlanay1@skokomish.org
Snoqualmie Tribe (425) 495-6097 steve@snoqualmietribe.us 
Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians (360) 652-3687 x14 KLyste@stillaguamish.com
Suquamish Tribe, THPO (360) 394-8529 dlewarch@suquamish.nsn.us
Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, THPO (360) 466-7352 lcampbell@swinomish.nsn.us
Tulalip Tribes (425) 239-0182 ryoung@tulaliptribes-nsn.gov
Upper Skagit Tribe (360) 854-7009 sschuyler@upperskagit.com

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Economic Resources at Risk – Summary

Socio-economic sensitive resources are facilities or locations that rely on a body of water to be economically viable. Because of their location, they could be severely impacted if an oil spill were to occur. Economically sensitive resources are separated into three categories: critical infrastructure, water dependent commercial areas, and water dependent recreation areas. A future additional appendix will provide a list of economic resources for this GRP area

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General Information

Wildlife Refuges and Wilderness Areas

There following federal wildlife refuges exist within this region: San Juan Island National Wildlife Refuge; Protection Island national Wildlife Refuge, and Dungeness Spit National Wildlife Refuge.

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Aquatic Invasive Species

The waters of this region may contain aquatic invasive species (AIS) – species of plants and/or animals that are not native to an area and that can be harmful to an area’s ecosystem. If so, preventative actions may be required to prevent the spread of these species as a result of spill response activities and the Environmental Unit is able to recommend operational techniques and strategies to assist with this issue.

Flight restriction zones

Flight restriction zones may be recommended by the Environmental Unit (Planning Section), in consultation with the Wildlife Branch, for the purpose of reducing disturbances that could result in injury to wildlife during an oil spill.  By keeping a safe distance or altitude from identified sensitive areas, pilots/operators can lessen the risk of aircraft/bird collisions, prevent the accidental hazing of wildlife into oiled areas, and avoid causing the abandonment of nests.

Implementation of Flight Restriction Zones will take place within the Air Operations Branch (Operations Section) after the Unified Command is formed.  The Planning Section’s Environmental Unit will work with the Air Ops Branch Director to resolve any potential conflicts with flight activities that are essential to the spill response effort.  Typically, the area within a 1,500-foot radius and below 1,000 feet in altitude is restricted to flying in areas that have been identified as sensitive; however, some areas have more restrictive zones.  In addition to restrictions associated with wildlife, Tribal authorities may also request notification when overflights are likely to affect culturally sensitive areas within reservations.  See Oil Spill Best Management Practices (NWACP Section 9301) for more information on the use of aircraft and helicopters in open water and shoreline responses.

Wildlife Deterrence

The Wildlife Branch (Operations Section), in consultation with the appropriate trustee agencies and the Environmental Unit, will evaluate wildlife deterrent options for the purpose of keeping wildlife away from oil and cleanup operations and will manage any such activities during a response.  Deterrence options might include the use of acoustic or visual deterrent devices, boats, aircraft or other situation-appropriate tools.  For more information see the Northwest Wildlife Response Plan (NWACP Section 9310) and Northwest Area Wildlife Deterrence Resources (NWACP Section 9311).

Oiled Wildlife

Attempting to capture oiled wildlife can be hazardous to both personnel and the affected animals.  Response personnel should not approach or attempt to recover oiled wildlife.  Responders should report their observations of oiled wildlife to the Wildlife Branch so appropriate action can be taken.  Information provided should include the location, date, and time of the sighting, and the estimated number and kind of animals observed.  Early on in the response, before a Unified Command is established, oiled wildlife sightings should be reported to Washington Emergency Management Division.  For more information see the Northwest Wildlife Response Plan (NWACP Section 9310).

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