[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 234 (Tuesday, December 6, 2011)]
[Pages 76180-76181]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-31245]



Bureau of Reclamation

Fish and Wildlife Service

Final Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report 
(EIS/EIR) for the Suisun Marsh Habitat Management, Preservation and 
Restoration Plan, California

AGENCIES: Bureau of Reclamation and Fish and Wildlife Service, 

ACTION: Notice of availability.


[[Page 76181]]

SUMMARY: The Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) and the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service (Service), as the National Environmental Policy Act 
(NEPA) Federal joint lead agencies, and the State of California 
Department of Fish and Game (DFG), acting as the California 
Environmental Quality Act lead agency, have prepared the Suisun Marsh 
Habitat, Management, Preservation, and Restoration Plan (SMP) Final 
EIS/EIR. The SMP is a comprehensive plan designed to address the 
various conflicts regarding use of Suisun Marsh resources, with the 
focus on achieving an acceptable multi-stakeholder approach to the 
restoration of tidal wetlands and the management of managed wetlands 
and their functions.

DATES: Reclamation and the Service will not make a decision on the 
proposed action until at least 30 days after release of the Final EIS/
EIR. After the 30 day waiting period, Reclamation and the Service will 
complete a Record of Decision (ROD). The ROD will state the actions 
that will be implemented by each agency and will discuss factors 
leading to the decisions.

ADDRESSES: A compact disk or a copy of the Final EIS/EIR may be 
requested from Ms. Becky Victorine, Bureau of Reclamation, Bay-Delta 
Office, 801 I Street, Suite 140, Sacramento, California 95814-2536, or 
emailed to rvictorine@usbr.gov, or by calling (916) 414-2429. The Final 
EIS/EIR is also accessible from the following Web site: http://www.usbr.gov/mp/nepa/nepa_projdetails.cfm?Project_ID=781.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Becky Victorine, Bureau of 
Reclamation, (916) 414-2429, rvictorine@usbr.gov; or Ms. Cay Goude; 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, (916) 414-6600, cay_goude@fws.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Suisun Marsh (Marsh) is the largest 
contiguous brackish water marsh remaining on the west coast of North 
America and is a critical part of the San Francisco Bay/Sacramento--San 
Joaquin Delta (Bay-Delta) estuary ecosystem. The values of the Marsh 
have been recognized as important and several agencies have been 
involved in its protection since the mid-1970s. In 2001, the principal 
Federal, State and local agencies that have jurisdiction or interest in 
the Marsh directed the formation of a charter group to develop a plan 
for the Marsh that would balance the needs of the California Bay-Delta 
Authority (CALFED), the Suisun Marsh Preservation Agreement, and other 
plans by protecting and enhancing existing land uses, existing 
waterfowl and wildlife values, including those associated with the 
Pacific Flyway, endangered species, and state and Federal water project 
supply quality. A subset of this charter group has collaboratively 
prepared the SMP Final EIS/EIR. The principal agencies include the 
Service, Reclamation, National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), DFG, 
State of California Department of Water Resources, and Suisun Resource 
Conservation District. Each principal agency would use this EIS/EIR to 
implement particular actions described and analyzed in the document 
that would contribute to the overall implementation of the SMP. NMFS 
and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are cooperating agencies in 
accordance with NEPA.
    The SMP preferred alternative includes restoring 5,000 to 7,000 
acres in the Marsh to fully functioning, self-sustaining tidal wetland 
and protecting and enhancing existing tidal wetland acreage; and 
improving levee stability and flood and drain capabilities of the 
remaining 44,000 to 46,000 acres of managed wetlands. The plan is 
intended to guide near-term and future actions related to restoration 
of tidal wetlands and managed wetland activities in the Marsh. 
Restoration of tidal wetlands under the SMP preferred alternative would 
implement the tidal restoration goal established for the Marsh by the 
CALFED Ecosystem Restoration Program Plan, and would contribute to the 
tidal restoration goals of the San Francisco Bay Area Wetlands 
Ecosystem Goals Project, and the Service's Draft Recovery Plan for 
Tidal Marsh Ecosystems of Northern and Central California for the 
Suisun Bay Area Recovery Unit. SMP actions would be implemented over 
the 30-year SMP timeframe. Benefits from individual tidal restoration 
projects would change as elevations rise, vegetation becomes 
established, and vegetation communities shift over time from low marsh 
to high marsh condition.
    The intended outcomes of the managed wetlands activities described 
in the SMP EIS/EIR are to maintain and improve habitat conditions and 
minimize or avoid adverse effects of wetland operations. Most of these 
activities are already occurring in the Marsh; however, some of the 
current activities would be modified, and some new activities would be 
conducted, as described in detail in the SMP EIS/EIR.
    The SMP EIS/EIR documents the direct, indirect, and cumulative 
effects to the physical, biological, and socioeconomic environment that 
may result from the SMP, including potential effects on hydrology, 
water quality, geology, groundwater, flood control, sediment transport, 
transportation and navigation, air quality, noise, climate change, 
fish, vegetation and wetlands, wildlife, visual resources, cultural 
resources, land and water use, social and economic conditions, 
utilities and public services, recreation, power, public health and 
environmental hazards, environmental justice, and Indian trust assets.
    Public meetings on the draft EIS/EIR were held on Thursday, 
November 18, 2010, in Suisun City, CA, and Benicia, CA.

Public Disclosure

    Before including your name, address, phone number, email address, 
or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should 
be aware that your entire comment--including your personal identifying 
information--may be made publicly available at any time. While you can 
ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying 
information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be 
able to do so.

    Dated: November 30, 2011.
Michelle Denning,
 Acting Regional Director, Mid-Pacific Region, U.S. Bureau of 
     November 30, 2011.
 Paul McKim,
 Acting Deputy Regional Director, Pacific Southwest Region, U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 2011-31245 Filed 12-5-11; 8:45 am]