Over the last few years, the LTMS agencies have worked closely with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to develop a proposed update to the LTMS programmatic biological opinion (BO). That process is near completion. Please findbelow an advance copy of the LTMS agencies’ proposed update to the NMFS programmatic BO regarding salmonids and green sturgeon and the LTMS program.
The proposed update summarizes the accomplishments of the LTMS program over the years in reducing impacts to salmonids and green sturgeon, as well as other fish species, and outlines a proposed simplification of the existing environmental work windows for salmonids. In this proposal, no additional work windows would be created for green sturgeon. In addition, the proposal includes the opportunity for certain projects to work outside the salmonid work window without further consultation with NMFS, so long as the dredged material is beneficially reused to benefit fish habitat (such as at a tidal wetland restoration site).
While the existing work windows for other species such as smelt and herring will remain in place, this proposal represents an important milestone in the LTMS Program in that it will enhance environmental protection for salmonids and green sturgeon, provide habitat benefits, and expedite the permit process for applicable dredging projects by reducing the need for consultation.
Please join us at the upcoming Management Committee meeting scheduled for 2pm on April 30 in the Benicia Room below the main floor lobby in the Civic Center State Building at 455 Golden Gate Avenue in San Francisco. For those who wish to comment on the proposed update but are unable to attend the Management Committee meeting in person, please email your comments to BayLTMS@anchorqea.com by May 9th. After that, the proposed update will be finalized and sent to NMFS and they in turn will finalize the programmatic BO. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.