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Environmental Compliance Support for Use of Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System Low‐Frequency Active (SURTASS LFA) Sonar Systems

Project Details
This long‐term effort entails comprehensive environmental compliance support for the Navy’s use of SURTASS LFA and Compact LFA (CLFA) sonar systems in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA); Executive Order 12114 (Environmental Effects Abroad of Major Federal Actions, EO 12114); Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA); Endangered Species Act (ESA); Magnuson‐Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act (MSFCMA); National Marine Sanctuaries Act; Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA); and other related federal laws and regulations. Since 2002, MAI has been the principal developer of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement (OEIS) and four Supplemental EIS’s (SEIS’s)/Supplemental OEIS’s (SOEIS’s) under NEPA and EO 12114 that have comprehensively assessed the potential for impacts associated with use of the LFA and CLFA sonar systems. MAI has also supported the Navy’s MMPA and ESA as well as other consultations for SURTASS LFA sonar use, which included the preparation of MMPA rulemaking and LOA applications as well as requests for ESA biological opinions and incidental take statements. As part of the NEPA, MMPA, and ESA support efforts, MAI scientists and analysts provide state‐of-the‐art four‐dimensional modeling and analyses of acoustic impacts to determine the risk to marine mammals associated with use of SURTASS LFA sonar. MAI prepares quarterly, annual, and comprehensive 5‐ to 7‐year
reports summarizing the Navy’s use of LFA and CLFA sonar and the mitigation monitoring that occurred during use of the sonar systems. To support the Navy’s mandate to conduct monitoring that increases knowledge of marine mammals as well as the impact on marine mammals due to use of SURTASS LFA sonar, a team of MAI sonar specialists and acousticians monitors the Navy’s fixed and mobile passive acoustic monitoring systems, including the SURTASS systems, to enhance the Navy’s collection and analysis of long‐term data on individual and population levels of acoustically active marine mammals, principally baleen and sperm whales.

For more information, please visit the SURTASS LFA website.

1997 to Present

Current Clients
Office of the Chief of Naval Operations
Undersea Surveillance Branch (N2/N6F24)
2000 Navy Pentagon
Washington, DC 20350

Past Clients
Naval Sea Systems Command
Program Executive Officer
Littoral and Mine Warfare Detachment San Diego (PMS-485)
4301 Pacific Highway
San Diego, CA 92110-3127

Letter of Appreciation for MAI Employee Mr. Chuck Gagnon:

I wanted to take a moment to recognize the outstanding performance of Chuck Gagnon here at Naval Ocean Processing Facility Dam Neck. Not only is he an outstanding analyst, but has proven time and again that he is willing to go above and beyond from his “day-job” and provide extremely valuable insight into the performance of our sensors with a level of detail only possible due to his background and expertise in his field. Please pass along my thanks and appreciation to Chuck. He is a consummate professional, as well as a valuable and appreciated member of my team.

– Commanding Officer, NOPF Dam Neck, Virginia