You can use conservation measures to avoid exposing marine mammals to sound levels that may cause injury or behavioral disruption. Two primary measures are available to avoid exposure:
Conduct work when Endangered Species Act-listed marine mammals are extremely unlikely to occur: Use the tools provided in the links on the Marine Mammal ESA Section 7 Consultation Tools page to evaluate species occurrence and the area of sound effects. Identify months of the year that ESA-listed marine mammals are not likely to occur in the area of sound effects. Conduct work during this time period, or a portion of this time period that coincides with the approved in-water work windows for fish.
Develop a marine-mammal monitoring plan: The basic premise is to observe for marine mammals in the defined area of potential sound effects. Stop or do not start work if a marine mammal is sighted in the monitoring area. Do not start work again until the marine mammal has moved out of the monitoring area. We've posted guidance for developing a marine mammal monitoring plan, and we can provide additional assistance upon request.