Using its authorities under the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Clean Water Act, Federal Power Act, and other statutes, the Fish and Wildlife Service works closely with other federal agencies in consideration of water resource development project planning and possible impacts on fish and wildlife. The Service provides ecological advice and assistance to federal, state and tribal agencies, private industry and the public, when either federal dollars or federally permitted activities are involved, to protect and conserve fish and wildlife resources and their habitats. For example, the Service reviews and makes recommendations on permit and license activities of several federal agencies, including the U.S. Army corps of Engineers (COE) and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Through this planning, the Fish and Wildlife Service strives to protect wetlands, uplands, river corridors and other important habitat by coordinating on projects in order to minimize adverse impacts to fish and wildlife and their habitats.
Special consideration is given by the Service to proposed developments that may result in the modification of wetlands, streams or other important habitats, including upland and riparian areas. Some examples of projects the Georgia Field Office is involved in include federal water development projects, flood control projects, highway projects, utility lines, wastewater facilities, communication towers and COE Section 404 permit review. Habitat alterations may adversely impact migratory birds or threatened or endangered species. In these situations, the Service may recommend ways to avoid, minimize or compensate for adverse impacts to important or sensitive fish and wildlife and their habitat.
The National Wetlands Inventory is important to the planning of wetland projects. NWI produces paper and digital wetlands maps, including the characteristics, extent and status of the nations wetlands. This information is used for many purposes including developing floodplain management plans, developing endangered species recovery plans, managing and acquiring habitat, restoration activities and preventing wetlands loss and degradation.