CSA Ocean Sciences Inc. (CSA) prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA), pursuant to the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), for proposed oceanographic research operations within the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) off California. Termed Monterey Bay 2006, the research activities occurred between July and September 2006 and involved research vessels, autonomous underwater vehicles, gliders, and oceanographic equipment from the U.S. Navy, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and other research institutions.
Agencies reviewing the EA included MBNMS, several Federal and State agencies (i.e., National Marine Fisheries Service [NMFS], California Coastal Commission, U.S. Coast Guard [USCG], and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers [USACE]), and local interests. Based on EA impact determinations, it is expected that a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) also will be developed. In addition, CSA provided expert review of the Navy’s research permit application.