One purpose of the Council’s Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) and Habitat Area of Particular Concern (HAPC) designations is to serve as a tool that can be used by the Council, and, especially, by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) when the agency engages in the EFH consultation process. The EFH consultation process is defined by federal regulations as a responsibility of NMFS (Title 50, Part 600, Subpart K) and is triggered when a Federal agency (including NOAA) proposes an activity that may adversely affect designated EFH. After reviewing the planned activity, NMFS may make EFH conservation recommendations to the Federal agency, and the agency must provide a written response. Permitting agencies are not required to comply with these recommendations, but in most cases adverse effects on EFH are mitigated or avoided as a result of NMFS consultations.

The Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office’s (GARFO) Habitat Conservation Division routinely shares EFH conservation recommendations with the Council (see recent letters below). In 2016, the Council asked GARFO staff to share information about certain types of projects earlier in the consultation process. The idea was to allow the Council time to potentially develop its own comments on major projects. This early engagement also allows GARFO and Council staff to share information and expertise. Project types of interest include energy projects, cable projects, sand mining, transportation, and port development. Coordination between NMFS and the Council on EFH consultation issues has continued to evolve since 2016. Since 2018, the Council has frequently interacted with GARFO on renewable energy development issues via the NMFS Wind Team. In August 2019, the eight Regional Fishery Management Councils and NMFS held a national workshop to discuss mechanisms for effective coordination around EFH consultations and non-fishing impacts. The workshop report shares lessons learned and possible next steps for improving coordination.

More information about GARFO’s habitat program can be found on its habitat conservation webpage.

GARFO to BOEM re Sunrise Wind - September 14
GARFO to BOEM re US Wind Maryland – July 28
GARFO to BOEM re Empire Wind – July 27
GARFO to DOE re NYC Energy Floating Battery – July 25

GARFO to BOEM re Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind – July 21

GARFO to BOEM re Ocean Wind 1 – June 27

GARFO to BOEM re Revolution Wind – June 16

Gull Island, Borough of Point Pleasant Beach, in Ocean County, New Jersey - May 2023
Sandy Hook FNC - Apr. 2023

Salem River Dredging - Apr. 2023

Essex River FNP - Mar. 2023

Park City Wind Tech Assist - Mar. 2023

Ocean Wind 1 EFH Conservation - Feb. 2023

Sunrise Wind Tech Assist - Feb. 2023

Maurice River Dredging - Feb. 2023

Maurice River FNP EFH, Part 1 - Jan. 2023

Maurice River FNP EFH, Part 2 - Jan. 2023

Coastal VA Offshore Wind - Nov. 2022
Northeast Wind - Nov. 2022
Maurice River - Oct. 2022
Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center - Oct. 2022
Long Point, LLC - Oct. 2022
Empire Wind - Oct. 2022
Tompkinsville Esplanade DOT Pier - Sept. 2022
Ocean Wind, LLC - Aug. 2022
Seaside Park NJ - Aug. 2022
Revolution Wind EFH - June 2022
Amitie Cable - June 2022

Kingfish Land-Based Aquaculture - June 2022

Havre Degrace Living Shoreline - May 2022

Ocean Wind Draft EFH Assessment - April 2022

Mordecai Island Restoration Tech Assist - Mar. 2022

Pepper Creek Shoreline Mitigation - Mar. 2022

Worlds Fair Marina EFH - Mar. 2022

Sharkbridge EFH - Feb. 2022

Navesink Bridge - Feb. 2022
Manasquam Bridge - Feb. 2022

General Concurrence to NAP - Jan. 2022

General Concurrence - Jan. 2022

Vineyard Wind EFH Response - Dec. 2020
PSEG Hope Creek Port Site - Dec. 2020
West Pond Living Shoreline EFH Response - Nov. 2020
Oyster Creek Dredging - Oct. 2020
Edgemore Port Expansion - Sep. 2020
Monmouth County Bridge - Jul. 2020
Vineyard Wind - EFH Addendum - Jul. 2020
National CG Museum New London - Jun. 2020
Maurice River Flood Risk Mgmt. - Jun 2020
Jarrow and Bragg Shoreline - Jun. 2020
Philadelphia Floating Classroom - May 2020
Philadelphia Naval Yard Dredging - May 2020
Riverside Drive Groins - Apr. 2020
Spriggs Pond Dredging - Apr. 2020
Herrington Harbor North - Apr. 2020
Mayflower Site Assess Plan - Mar. 2020
Jarrow Bragg Shoreline Project - Mar. 2020
Barnagat Inlet Dredging USACOE - Mar. 2020
Schuykill River NMFS response - Mar. 2020
Schuykill River USDOT response - Feb. 2020
Beach Haven Complex NJDOT - Jan. 2020

Kennebunk River FNP USACE - Dec. 2019
EPA IOSN Designation - Dec. 2019
Atlantic Coast Project, Maryland - Nov. 2019
Mispillion Inlet, Sussex County, DE - Oct. 2019
Wolf Trap Dredge Placement, Chesapeake Bay, VA - Sept. 2019
New Jersey State Programmatic General Permit - Sep. 2019
Keec River, Bath, ME - Aug. 2019
Vineyard Wind, Martha's Vineyard, MA - June 2019
River Place Marina on the Nanticoke River, Sussex County, DE - June 2019
Dewey Beach Enterprises, Sussex County, DE - May 2019
Schuylkill River, Philadelphia, PA - May 2019
Crescent Beach, Milford, CT - Mar. 2019
Walnut and Wildemere Beach, Milford, CT - Mar. 2019
New Haven Harbor, New Haven, CT - Feb. 2019

Cape Porpoise, Kennebunkport, ME - Nov. 2018
American Littoral, New Jersey - Nov. 2018
Rockaway Reevaluation Study, New York - Oct. 2018
Electric Boat South Yard Project, Groton, CT - Oct. 2018
Scusset Beach, Sandwich, MA - Sept. 2018
Norfolk Coastal, Norfolk, VA - June 2018
Norfolk Harbor, Hampton Roads, VA - June 2018
Maryland Shore Line, Ocean City, MD - May, 2018
Rutgers, Ocean County, NJ - Feb. 2018
Woods Island Harbor, Biddeford, ME - Feb. 2018
American Littoral, Cumberland County, NJ - Feb. 2018