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MA6 NRDA: Injuries, Pathway, and Restoration
(059) Habitat Equivalency Analysis applied to scaling compensatory restoration for permanent filling of river bottom.
Buchman, Michael1, Peterson, Charles2, Seltzer, Craig3, 1 NOAA Coastal Protection and Restoration Division, Seattle, WA, USA2 Charles H Peterson and Associates, Atlantic Beach, NC, USA3 US Army Corps of Engineers, Norfolk, VA, USA
ABSTRACT- Although Habitat Equivalency Analysis (HEA) has been increasingly used as a tool to determine compensation for natural resource damages related to oil spills and to releases at hazardous waste sites, its application to projects involving dredging and filling is comparatively novel. This presentation will describe the application of HEA to a suite of potential habitat scenarios as compensation for the expansion of the Craney Island Dredged Material Management Area. The filling action associated with this expansion would result in loss of open water habitat plus several hundred acres of river bottom habitat, in perpetuity. This loss is proposed within the Elizabeth River, a highly developed river system, that does not offer areas of commensurate acreage available for compensation. Thus a package of various habitat restoration and enhancement actions is being explored as cumulative compensation. HEA is being explored as the method to provide the scaling necessary to apportion the proper balance between potential options such as oyster reef creation, tidal saltmarsh wetland creation, remediation of other benthic habitat within the river, and SAV restoration. Some of these analyses use a more straightforward service flow approach, while others involve a much more intricate analysis of productivity between these disparate habitat types to appropriately scale compensation. HEA is also being used to quantify the permanent losses in the fill area in terms of secondary production, both in terms of lost benthic community services and the loss of mesohaline estuarine water column habitat.
Key words: oyster reef, habitat equivalency analysis, tidal salt marsh wetland, dredge and fill
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