About this Collection

Project planning and consultation with the Caribbean Field Office.

Project Evaluations

The Caribbean Ecological Services Field Office offers expertise in environmental planning for projects related to energy, transportation, water supply, development, flood control, communication towers, private development, recreation, streambank and shoreline protection. We work directly with federal agencies, state and local partners on infrastructure development projects to conserve natural resources in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

We offer information on species and their habitats that help people understand the potential impacts of a proposed project on the environment, as well as information on practices that protect natural resources while streamlining the environmental review process. Our biologists can assist in developing plans that conserve, restore or enhance fish and wildlife while accomplishing the goals of the proposed project. 

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) provides a means for conserving the ecosystems upon which endangered and threatened species depend. The ESA requires that all federal agencies and federally funded projects participate in conserving these species. Specifically, section 7 (a)(1) of the ESA charges federal agencies to aid in the conservation of listed species, and section 7 (a)(2) requires the agencies, through consultation with the Service, to ensure their activities are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of listed species or adversely modify designated critical habitats. Section 7 Section 7
Section 7 Consultation The Endangered Species Act (ESA) directs all Federal agencies to work to conserve endangered and threatened species and to use their authorities to further the purposes of the Act. Section 7 of the Act, called "Interagency Cooperation," is the mechanism by which Federal agencies ensure the actions they take, including those they fund or authorize, do not jeopardize the existence of any listed species.

Learn more about Section 7
applies to the management of federal lands as well as federal actions that may affect listed species, such as federal approval of private activities through the issuance of federal funding, permits, licenses, or other actions. To initiate a consultation under the Section 7 of the ESA, you must submit a project package with the established minimum requirements. Download the Caribbean Ecological Services Field Office-Project Evaluations fact sheet (below) to learn more about the requirements. 

The Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act requires consultation with the Fish and Wildlife Service and the fish and wildlife agencies of States where the “waters of any stream or other body of water are proposed or authorized, permitted or licensed to be impounded, diverted … or otherwise controlled or modified” by any agency under a Federal permit or license (eg. Coast Guard permits, Corps of Engineers Section 10/404/103 permits, EPA Section 402 permits, FERC licenses, NRC power station licensing, NRCS water resource projects, etc). 

Consultation is to be undertaken for the purpose of “preventing loss of and damage to wildlife resources.” Service conservation recommendations should be given equal value in the agency’s decision making process. 

Consultation under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act with the Caribbean Ecological Services Field Office 

The Caribbean Ecological Services Field Office has developed the Consultation under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act with the Caribbean Ecological Services Field Office Template letter (below) that can be used as an example when submitting “may affect, but not likely to adversely affect” (NLAA) determinations as part of the section 7 process of the Endangered Species Act. Should you have any questions, please contact Marelisa Rivera, Deputy Field Supervisor at Caribbean_es@fws.gov.  

Information for Planning and Consultation ( IPaC IPaC
Information for Planning and Consultation (IPaC) is a project planning tool that streamlines the USFWS environmental review process

Learn more about IPaC

The Service has a digital project planning tool called the Information for Planning and Consultation (IPaC), which helps federal and states agencies, and consultants to identify resources based on user-drawn project locations. IPaC automatically provides resource lists, endangered and threatened species list and information such as conservation measures for the species that might be present in the proposed project area. 

IPaC is a tool to identify potential impacts to endangered and threatened species and provides suggestions for addressing them early in the project development process, helping to save time and money and avoid potential project delays. Link to the tool: https://ecos.fws.gov/ipac/