Georgia Ecological Services Field Offices
Southeast Region
Georgia ESFO Map

Federal Activities

Credit: USFWS

Credit: USFWS

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 (USACE) Savannah District and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). 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 Ecological Services Field Office is involved with include federal water development projects, flood control projects, highway projects, utility lines, wastewater facilities, communication towers and USACE 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 (NWI) 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.

Effect Determination Guidance Tools (EDGES)

The Georgia Ecological Services office developed Effect Determination Guidance for Endangered and Threatened Species (EDGES) to improve coordination on projects that may affect species listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The EDGES are intended to target agency and applicant resources to streamline ESA consultations and enhance listed species' conservation. The EDGES apply to various activities that have a federal nexus and, therefore, require consultation between the Service and a federal lead agency under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act. Under Section 7, Federal agencies must consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) when any action the agency carries out, funds, or authorizes (such as through a permit) may affect a listed endangered or threatened species. EDGES establish an ESA consultation framework and provide information to assist applicants locate, plan, and design projects to minimize listed species impacts, which can expedite regulatory approval. To learn more about consultation under the Endangered Species Act, visit the Service's Consulation Overview webpage.

The following EDGES have been developed for use in Georgia. Additionally, EDGES for projects requiring a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are available on the Savannah District's EDGES permitting website. For more information, please contact the Georgia Ecological Services Field Office.

Georgia Effect Determination Guidance Tools (EDGES)


Federally Insured Loan and Grant Projects (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development)

US HUD logo

For projects supported by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) loans, please review the guidance in this region-wide clearance letter. If your project meets all the criteria in the letter, it will have "no effect", and in few cases would "not likely to adversely affect" any Federally-listed species protected under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office any time.

Last updated: April 23, 2021