Marine Mammals

The Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) prohibits the take (hunting, harassment or killing) of marine mammals in U.S. waters. Consider potential impacts of construction and operation on marine mammals for all Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) projects involving marine waters, as well as the Columbia River up to Bonneville Dam.

Use the marine mammal acoustical technical guidance to analyze a project’s impacts from sound on marine mammals.

Incidental Harassment Authorizations (IHAs)

If a WSDOT project will impact marine mammals, follow the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries guidance on how to apply for incidental harassment authorization (IHA).

Use the NOAA Fisheries Marine Mammal ESA Section 7 Consultation Tools to understand the relationship between the Endangered Species Act and the MMPA, the effects of noise on marine mammals, sound threshold guidance, and other related topics.