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«Submitted to: Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration Prepared by: ...»

-- [ Page 1 ] --

REQUEST FOR INCIDENTAL HARASSMENT AUTHORIZATION

FOR THE INCIDENTAL HARASSMENT OF MARINE MAMMALS

RESULTING FROM THE TRIDENT SUPPORT FACILITIES

SECOND EXPLOSIVES HANDLING WHARF

ON

NAVAL BASE KITSAP AT BANGOR, WASHINGTON

CONSTRUCTION YEAR 2

July 16, 2013, through February 15, 2014

Submitted to:

Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration

Prepared by:

Naval Facilities Engineering Command Northwest

Prepared for:

Strategic Systems Program December 2012 Update on May 3, 2013 Request for Authorization for the Incidental Harassment of Marine Mammals Resulting from the TRIDENT Support Facilities Second Explosives Handling Wharf, Naval Base Kitsap at Bangor This Page Intentionally Left Blank Request for Authorization for the Incidental Harassment of Marine Mammals Resulting from the TRIDENT Support Facilities Second Explosives Handling Wharf, Naval Base Kitsap at Bangor

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

1 DESCRIPTION OF ACTIVITIES

1.1 Proposed Action

1.1.1 Description of Pile Driving Operations

1.1.2 Project Details

1.1.3 Upland Component

1.1.4 Work Accomplished Under First-Year IHA

1.1.5 Operations

2 LOCATION AND DURATION OF ACTIVITIES

2.1 Region of Activity

2.2 Activity Area Description

2.2.1 Bathymetric Setting

2.2.2 Tides

2.2.3 Circulation and Currents

2.2.4 Sea State

2.2.5 Water Temperature

2.2.6 Stratification and Salinity

2.2.7 Sediments

2.2.8 Ambient Underwater Soundscape

2.2.9 Ambient Airborne Soundscape

2.3 Duration of Activities

3 MARINE MAMMAL SPECIES AND NUMBERS

3.1 ESA-Listed Marine Mammals

3.1.1 Humpback Whale (CA/OR/WA Stock)

3.1.2 Steller Sea Lion (Eastern U.S. Stock)

3.2 Non-ESA Listed Marine Mammals

3.2.1 California Sea Lion (U.S. Stock)

3.2.2 Harbor Seal

3.2.3 Killer Whale (Transient Type)

3.2.4 Dall’s Porpoise

3.2.5 Harbor Porpoise

3.3 Marine Mammal Modeling Parameters

3.3.1 Spatial Distribution and Project-Area Survey Efforts

3.3.2 Submergence

–  –  –

4 STATUS AND DISTRIBUTION OF MARINE MAMMAL SPECIES

4.1 ESA-Listed Marine Mammals

4.1.1 Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae)

4.1.2 Steller Sea Lion (Eumetopias jubatus), Eastern Stock

4.2 Non-ESA Listed Marine Mammals

4.2.1 California Sea Lion (Zalophus californianus), U.S. Stock

4.2.2 Harbor Seal (Phoca vitulina), Washington Inland Waters Stock

4.2.3 Killer whale (Orcinus orca), West Coast Transient Stock

4.2.4 Dall’s Porpoise (Phocoenoides dalli), California/Oregon/Washington Stock

4.2.5 Harbor Porpoise (Phocoena phocoena), Washington Inland Waters Stock

5 HARASSMENT AUTHORIZATION REQUESTED

5.1 Take Authorization Request

5.2 Method of Incidental Taking

6 NUMBERS AND SPECIES EXPOSED

6.1 Introduction

6.2 Fundamentals of Underwater Noise

6.3 Description of Noise Sources

6.4 Vocalizations and Hearing of Marine Mammals

6.5 Sound Exposure Criteria and Thresholds

6.5.1 Limitations of Existing Noise Criteria

6.5.2 Ambient Noise

6.6 Distance to Sound Thresholds

6.6.1 Underwater Sound Propagation Formula

6.6.2 Underwater Noise from Pile Driving

6.6.3 Airborne Sound Propagation Formula

6.6.4 Airborne Sound from Pile Driving

6.6.5 Auditory Masking

6.7 Basis for Estimating Harassment Exposures

6.7.1 Humpback Whale

6.7.2 Steller Sea Lion

6.7.3 California Sea Lion

6.7.4 Harbor Seal

6.7.5 Transient Killer Whales

6.7.6 Dall’s Porpoise

6.7.7 Harbor Porpoise

–  –  –

6.8 Description of Exposure Calculation

6.8.1 Humpback Whale

6.8.2 Steller Sea Lion

6.8.3 California Sea Lion

6.8.4 Harbor Seal

6.8.5 Transient Killer Whale

6.8.6 Dall’s Porpoise

6.8.7 Harbor Porpoise

6.9 Summary

7 IMPACTS TO MARINE MAMMAL SPECIES OR STOCKS

7.1 Potential Effects of Pile Driving on Marine Mammals

7.1.1 Underwater Noise Effects

7.1.2 Airborne Noise Effects

7.1.3 Non-Pile Driving Noise Effects

7.2 Other Effects on Marine Mammals

7.2.1 Water Quality

7.2.2 Vessel Traffic

7.2.3 Collisions with Vessels

7.3 Conclusions Regarding Impacts to Species or Stocks

8 IMPACT TO SUBSISTENCE USE

8.1 Subsistence Harvests by Northwest Treaty Indian Tribes

8.2 Summary

9 IMPACTS TO THE MARINE MAMMAL HABITAT AND THE LIKELIHOOD OF





RESTORATION

9.1 Effects on Potential Prey (Fish)

9.1.1 Underwater Noise Effects on Fish

9.1.2 Effects on Fish Habitats/Abundance

9.2 Effect on Haul-out Sites

9.3 Likelihood of Habitat Restoration

10 IMPACTS TO MARINE MAMMALS FROM LOSS OR MODIFICATION OF HABITAT..... 103

11 MEANS OF EFFECTING THE LEAST PRACTICABLE ADVERSE IMPACTS –

MITIGATION MEASURES

11.1 Mitigation for Pile Driving Activities

11.2 Compensatory Habitat Mitigation

11.2.1 Compensatory Mitigation – In-Lieu Fee Program

12 MINIMIZATION OF ADVERSE EFFECTS ON SUBSISTENCE USE

–  –  –

13 MONITORING AND REPORTING MEASURES

13.1 Monitoring Plan

13.1.1 Visual Marine Mammal Observations

13.1.2 Methods of Monitoring

13.1.3 Data Collection

13.2 Reporting

14 RESEARCH

15 LIST OF REVIEWERS AND PREPARERS

16 REFERENCES

APPENDIX A: Summary of Marine Mammal Density Estimates APPENDIX B: Noise Analysis Approach

LIST OF FIGURES

Figure 1–1. Conceptual View of Existing EHW and Proposed EHW-2

Figure 1–2. Bathymetric View of Proposed EHW-2

Figure 1–3. Upland Project Features

Figure 2–1. Vicinity Map

Figure 2–2. Location of the Proposed Project at the Bangor Waterfront

Figure 2–3. NBK at Bangor Restricted Areas

Figure 2–4. EHW Maximum Fetch Diagram

Figure 2–5. Water Quality Monitoring Stations for 2005 and 2006

Figure 2–6. Sediment Sampling Locations

Figure 4–1. Harbor Seal Haul-outs in the Vicinity of NBK at Bangor

Figure 6–1. Representative View of Affected Areas for Marine Mammals Due to Underwater Pile Driving Noise

Figure 6–2. Representative View of Affected Areas for Marine Mammals Due to Airborne Pile Driving Noise

LIST OF TABLES

Table 1–1. Physical Features of the Proposed EHW-2

Table 2–1. Monthly Mean Surface Water Temperatures (°C/°F)

Table 3–1. Marine Mammals Sighted in Hood Canal in the Vicinity of NBK at Bangor and Evaluated in this IHA Application

Table 6–1. Definitions of Acoustical Terms

–  –  –

Table 6–2. Representative Noise Levels of Anthropogenic Sources

Table 6–3. Hearing and Vocalization Ranges for Marine Mammal Functional Hearing Groups and Species Potentially within the Project Area

Table 6–4. Injury and Disturbance Thresholds for Underwater and Airborne Sounds.......... 55 Table 6–5. Sound Pressure Levels from Pile Driving Studies Using Impact Hammers........ 58 Table 6–6. Sound Pressure Levels from Pile Driving Studies Using Vibratory Hammers

Table 6–7. Average Noise Reduction Values for WSDOT Projects from 2005 to 2009 for Steel Piles Using an Unconfined Bubble Curtain. All values are dB re 1µPa.

Table 6–8. Average Noise Reduction Values for WSDOT Projects from 2005 to 2009 for Steel Piles Using a Confined Bubble Curtain. Values are dB re 1µPa.......... 60 Table 6–10. Calculated Distance(s) to Underwater Marine Mammal Noise Thresholds due to Pile Driving and Areas Encompassed by Noise Thresholds

Table 6–11. Airborne Sound Pressure Levels from Similar In-situ Monitored Construction Activities

Calculated1 Maximum Distances in Air to Marine Mammal Noise Table 6–12.

Thresholds due to Pile Driving and Areas Encompassed by Noise Thresholds

Table 6–13. Steller Sea Lions (SSL) Observed on NBK at Bangor, April 2008– December 2012

Table 6–14. California Sea Lions (CSL) Observed on NBK at Bangor, April 2008– December 2012

Table 6–15. Number of Potential Exposures of Steller Sea Lions within Various Acoustic Threshold Zones

Table 6–16. Number of Potential Exposures of California Sea Lions within Various Acoustic Threshold Zones

Table 6–17. Number of Potential Exposures of Harbor Seals within Various Acoustic Threshold Zones

Table 6–18. Number of Potential Exposures of Transient Killer Whales within Various Acoustic Threshold Zones

Table 6–18. Number of Potential Exposures of Dall’s Porpoise within Various Acoustic Threshold Zones

Table 6–19. Number of Potential Exposures of Harbor Porpoise within Various Acoustic Threshold Zones

Table 6–20. Summary of Potential Exposures for All Species during the Second InWater Pile Driving Season (July 16 to February 15)

Table 9–1. Estimated Distances to Underwater Noise Thresholds, One Impact and Three Vibratory Pile Drivers, Peak, RMS, and SEL

–  –  –

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The U.S. Navy (Navy) is applying for an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) for the incidental take of marine mammals resulting from the second year of construction (July 16, 2013, through February 15, 2014) of a second Explosives Handling Wharf (EHW-2) on Naval Base Kitsap (NBK) at Bangor. NBK at Bangor, Washington, is located on Hood Canal approximately 20 miles west of Seattle, Washington, and provides berthing and support services to Navy OHIO Class ballistic missile submarines (SSBN), hereafter referred to as TRIDENT submarines. The purpose of the proposed action is to support future TRIDENT program requirements for the eight TRIDENT submarines currently homeported on NBK at Bangor and the TRIDENT II (D5) Strategic Weapons System. A second EHW (EHW-2) is needed because the existing EHW alone will not be able to support TRIDENT program requirements.

Vibratory and impact pile driving associated with construction of the EHW-2 are the proposed activities with the potential to affect marine mammals within the waterways adjacent to NBK at Bangor and that could result in harassment under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) of 1972, as amended.

Seven species of marine mammals may be present at various times of the year within the waters surrounding NBK at Bangor: the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), the Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus), the California sea lion (Zalophus californianus), the harbor seal (Phoca vitulina), the transient killer whale (Orcinus orca), the Dall’s porpoise (Phocoenoides dalli), and the harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena). Humpback whales are rare in Hood Canal, despite occasional sightings in Puget Sound. After an absence of humpback sightings in Hood Canal, an individual was seen over a three-week period in January 2012. Prior to this sighting, there were no confirmed reports of humpback whales entering Hood Canal (Calambokidis 2012, personal communication). Although this sighting is an exception to the normal distribution, the species is included in the analysis in this IHA. The Steller sea lion is only present from late fall to spring (October through May), and the California sea lion is only present from late summer to late spring (August to mid-June). Harbor seals are present year-round. There are two sightings of transient killer whales in Hood Canal in the last 10 years; the most recent was 8 years ago in 2005 and prior to that in 2003. Prior to these occurrences, transients were rarely seen. Dall’s porpoise may occasionally occur in Hood Canal; however, the last sighting was in the summer of 2008 (Tannenbaum et al. 2009). Historically, harbor porpoise were not known to occur in Hood Canal, despite aerial and vessel surveys (Calambokidis et al. 1992; Osmek et al. 1995).

However, in 2011, harbor porpoise were documented in small numbers in Hood Canal and have been seen annually since the 2011 observations (DoN 2011). Individuals of the seven species potentially present during the project’s timeline could be exposed to sound pressure levels associated with vibratory and impact pile driving. The Southern Resident killer whale stock is resident to the inland waters of Washington State and British Columbia; however, it has not been seen in Hood Canal since 1995 (18 years ago) and was therefore excluded from further analysis.

The Navy proposes to construct and operate the EHW-2 adjacent to, but separate from the existing EHW. The EHW-2 would consist of the wharf proper, or operations area, located approximately 600 feet offshore in water depths of 60 to 100 feet, and two trestles connecting the wharf to shore. Both the wharf and trestles would be pile-supported on up to 1,250 in-water steel pipe piles ranging in size from 24 to 48 inches in diameter. Construction would involve the temporary installation of up to 150 falsework piles used as an aid to guide the placement of

–  –  –



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