Draft Environmental Impact Report Now Available for Proposed North Coast Marine Protected Areas

Media Contacts:
Susan Ashcraft, Department of Fish and Game, (916) 445-6451
Adrianna Shea, California Fish and Game Commission, (916) 653-4899
Jordan Traverso, Department of Fish and Game, (916) 654-9937
A Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) is now complete for the Marine Protected Area (MPA) proposals covering California’s North Coast Study Region. A 45-day public comment and review period will run through April 16.
The DEIR analyzes the potential environmental impacts of the MPA proposal currently under consideration for this area, which extends from Alder Creek, Near Point Arena in Mendocino County, to the California/Oregon border. The DEIR also analyzes two project alternatives. The MPA proposals are part of the larger Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) process, which will create new MPAs along the length of California’s coastline.
The DEIR was prepared by the California Fish and Game Commission with assistance from the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) as part of the required environmental review process under the California Environmental Quality Act. The process began in September 2011 with a public scoping phase, during which DFG solicited comments on the range of issues and type of information that should be considered in the DEIR. These comments helped to shape the content of the DEIR released this week.
The DEIR is now available to the public on DFG’s website at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/mlpa/impact_nc.asp. Printed copies of the DEIR and related documents are available at the following public library locations: Del Norte County’s Crescent City Branch and Smith River Branch libraries; Humboldt County’s Eureka Branch, Trinidad Branch, Hoopa Branch, Ferndale Branch, Fortuna Branch, and Rio Dell libraries; Mendocino County’s Ukiah Branch, Willits Branch, Round Valley, Fort Bragg, and Coast Community Branch libraries; Sacramento County Public Library; and at the following DFG field offices:
•  California Department of Fish and Game:  619 Second Street, Eureka, CA 95501 (707-445-6493);
•  California Department of Fish and Game: 2330 N. Harbor Drive, Fort Bragg, CA 95437 (707-964-9078).
PUBLIC HEARINGS: Three public hearings will be held for the public to present written and/or verbal comments on the DEIR at the following locations and times:
•  Fort Bragg: Tuesday, March 20, 2012 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Fort Bragg Town Hall (363 N. Main Street, Fort Bragg, CA 95437);
•  Crescent City: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Del Norte County Board Chamber Building (981 H Street, Crescent City, CA 95531); and
•  Eureka: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 at the Red Lion Hotel (1929 Fourth Street, Eureka, CA 95501). Note that this is a Commission meeting, at which public comments on the proposed MLPA regulations and the DEIR will be received.
Written comments may be mailed to the following address:
MLPA North Coast CEQA Comments
Department of Fish and Game
c/o Horizon Water and Environment
P.O. Box 2727
Oakland, CA 94602
Comments may also be submitted via e-mail to MLPAcomments@HorizonWater.com. E-mailed comments must include “MLPA CEQA Comments” in the subject line.
All comments (mailed or e-mailed) must include the commentor’s name, address and daytime telephone number.
All comments must be post-marked no later than 5 p.m. on April 16 in order to be considered for inclusion in the Final EIR.