Quality Habitat for Threatened and Endangered Species
The Environmental Contaminants (EC) staff works closely with other biologists in the Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife office to identify, protect and restore endangered species and their habitat. Many environmental contaminants, both from historical and present activities, threaten the protection and recovery of endangered and threatened species. These include contamination related to agricultural practices, industrial operations, land development, urban sprawl, transportation, spills, and other activities in southern California.
Quality Habitat for Fish and Wildlife on Military Bases
The EC staff worked with military personnel to determine appropriate cleanup levels that are protective of the endangered San Bernardino kangaroo rat (SBKR) at Norton Air Force Base. Soils on an old landfill site on the base were found to contain metals, pesticides, PAHs, PCBs and dioxins. Exposure to dioxins and other pollutants may result in adverse effects to SBKR and other species including loss of body weight, appetite suppression, delayed lethality, reduced survival, reduced growth, and adverse reproductive effects. To aid in the recovery of the endangered SBKR, the EC staff recommended protective cleanup levels for the site that were agreed to by the military.
Quality Habitat on National Wildlife Refuges
The EC staff provides technical assistance to National Wildlife Refuge staff when evaluating properties for inclusion into the Wildlife Refuges System. An “Environmental Site Assessment” is conducted to evaluate any existing contaminant problems prior to land acquisition to ensure quality habitat for endangered species and other fish and wildlife resources. We provide similar technical assistance for habitat acquisitions to other organizations such as the State of California Wildlife Conservation Board.
Quality Habitat for Trust Resources after Spills
The EC staff works closely with local, state and other Federal agencies to protect fish, wildlife and their habitat during and after oil spills and other hazardous substance releases. The EC staff is involved during response, injury and damage assessment, and restoration.
The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service responds to oil and other hazardous material releases consistent with the Fish and Wildlife Service’s Spill Response Contingency Plan (FWSRCP). Each region and many of our National Wildlife Refuges develop Regional Response Plans consistent with the FWSRCP that outline the procedures we follow in the event of a spill. Implementation of the FWSRCP and the Incident Command System ensures that effective responses are implemented to best protect fish and wildlife resources and their habitats in the event of an oil and hazardous substance release and that there is national consistency for responding to oil spills. These guidelines are compatible with the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan, also known as the National Contingency Plan or NCP issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (40 CFR Part 300).
Early notification of oil and hazardous substance releases is the key to containment and executing cleanup measures to protect fish and wildlife resources and their habitats. We are responsible for inland and marine spills in Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Imperial, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
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