Washington State Ferries, Seattle, WA

Commited to environmental excellence

Washington State Ferries, Seattle, WA
Washington State Ferries, coleman dock ferry terminal, seattle, wa

Protected Species Monitoring

Harris Environmental provided protected species monitoring services over a five year period to support Pacific Pile & Marine, Hoffman Construction, and Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) during the demolition and rebuild of the Washington State Ferries Colman Dock Ferry Terminal in downtown Seattle’s Elliot Bay. The project replaced the ferry terminal building, and much of the supporting Pier 52, while it remained open during construction in order to serve over 9 million passengers annually. Construction activities involving in-water pile driving produce sound pressure waves which may disturb or impact marine mammals, fish, and birds protected by the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). During each in-water work season we provided a daily team of up to 7 biologists to locate, track, and collect behavioral and permitted harassment data for marine mammals (whales, seals, and sea lions) and marbled murrelets. Species of note included ESA-listed southern resident eco-type killer whales and humpback whales. This project required Harris Environmental to provide a pool of highly-qualified staff with specialized training and certifications—sometimes on short notice or under flexible work schedules—to implement rigorous monitoring protocols and standards of multiple agencies (U.S. Fish and Wildlife, National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration/National Marine Fisheries Service, Federal Transportation Authority, Washington Department of Transportation). Our staff worked closely with WSDOT biologists and construction crews to ensure permit conditions and consultation agreements were implemented smoothly, while documenting protected species’ occurrence, distribution, behaviors, and responses to anthropogenic influences.

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