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Biological Impact Analysis

CSMW conducted an initial assessment of issues and concerns with parties involved in coastal sediment management activities through technical and public workshops in 2004. A recurring theme of this stakeholder input was the need to better quantify the actual effects that sediment management activities, such as beach nourishment and related activities, may have on coastal biota. All participants generally agreed that a more complete understanding of potential impacts and better scientific data were needed by policy-makers, the regulatory community and project proponents to make well-informed decisions and recommendations.

CSMW subsequently developed a draft Biological Impacts Analysis (BIA) report in 2007 that compiled the state-of-knowledge on potential adverse and beneficial effects of sediment management on California's coastal natural resources. This was done through a comprehensive assessment of available literature sources relating to potential biological impacts from coastal sediment management activities. California sources were primarily used, but national and international references were also consulted. The consultant (Science Applications International Corporation or SAIC) was specifically tasked with developing responses to the approximately 30 issues related to potential impacts that were raised during the public workshop series. A comprehensive discussion of critical biota and habitats was developed and potential adverse and beneficial impacts of sediment management activities on the biota and habitat were described. The draft BIA report also included science-based recommendations to address relevant concerns as they relate to sensitive biota, habitats or ecosystems. The annotated bibliography was subsequently incorporated into CSMW's searchable Coastal Reference Database.

Recognizing the potential for widespread application of the report's findings in environmental assessments and project permitting, CSMW subsequently requested that personnel from various state and federal resource and regulatory agencies review the draft report. Their comments were addressed, and a revised draft BIA was completed. Also in response to the regulatory/resource agency requests, an additional document was prepared:

  • CSMW and their consultant met with affected agencies throughout the first half of 2010 to discuss the BIA report, and then developed “Resource Protection Guidelines" to help address the agencies’ specific concerns (e.g., environmental assessment, project permitting, etc).
  • A large volume of information was compiled in the draft BIA. To make it easier to find specific information in the main report, CSMW prepared an abbreviated user’s guide to make finding relevant information easier
  • The two efforts were combined into one document “BIA Volume 2: User’s Guide and Resource Protection Guidelines

CSMW is currently (June 2013) working with the California Ocean Sciences Trust to provide a peer review of these draft documents. Please contact Susie Ming (susan.m.ming@usace.army.mil) for further information. Clif Davenport, CSMWs Project Manager (clif.davenport@conservation.ca.gov) can also be contacted for general information.