Revision of Critical Habitat for the Southern Resident Killer Whale Distinct Population Segment (Final)
Aug. 2, 2021
NMFS issued a final rule to revise the critical habitat designation for the Southern Resident killer whale (Orcinus orca) distinct population segment (DPS) under the ESA by designating six additional coastal critical habitat areas along the U.S. West Coast. Specific newly designated areas along the U.S. West Coast include 15,910 square miles (mi2) (41,207 square kilometers (km2)) of marine waters between the 20-feet (ft) (6.1-meter (m)) depth contour and the 656.2-ft (200-m) depth contour from the U.S. international border with Canada south to Point Sur, California. They have excluded one area, the Quinault Range Site (including a 10-km buffer around a portion of the site), comprising 1,400.4 mi2 (3627 km2), from the critical habitat designation because we have determined that the benefits of exclusion outweigh the benefits of inclusion, and exclusion will not result in extinction of the species. This rule is effective 1 September 2021. POC is Lynne Barre, NMFS West Coast Region, 206-526-4745; or Lisa Manning, NMFS, Office of Protected Resources, 301-427-8466.
(Federal Register 2 August 2021 [Rule] pages 414668-41698)