In response to inaccurate statements in a story (“Plight of plovers halts dredging of Wells Harbor”) published in the Portland Press Herald (August 8, 2013), the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service would like to clarify the agency’s role in reviewing dredging projects in Wells and Scarborough, Maine.
The Service is consulting with the Army Corps of Engineers because the projects may affect piping plovers, roseate terns and red knots, which are shorebirds protected under the Endangered Species Act.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service goal is to avoid or minimize adverse effects the projects may have on these species.
As of this week, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has the important biological information the organization needs from the Army Corps to complete our work.
The organization will complete the evaluation within about two weeks.
The Service is not trying to stop or delay the dredging projects, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have not suggested that they require an environmental impact statement.
In fact, the service thinks that the projects will increase sandy beach areas that will benefit piping plovers.
The Endangered Species Act requires federal agencies to consult with the Service to ensure that the actions they authorize, fund, or carry out are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of listed species.
In this case, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service believes that appropriate measures can be put in place so that the projects will meet the requirements of the Endangered Species Act.
The Army Corps and the Service are fulfilling their responsibility to consult under the Endangered Species Act – a process that occurs hundreds of times between the Service and federal agencies in Maine each year.
Press Release, August 9, 2013