APPENDIX A

Statement of Task

An ad hoc committee will assess the scientific information, analysis, and conclusions presented in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for Drakes Bay Oyster Company Special Use Permit and evaluate whether the peer review of the DEIS conducted by Atkins, North America for the U.S. Department of the Interior, is fundamentally sound and materially sufficient. The committee will not perform an independent evaluation of the environmental impacts of the proposed alternatives, but will restrict its findings to the strength of the scientific arguments in the DEIS and identify concerns, if any, not covered in the Atkins peer review.

The DEIS identifies and evaluates eleven (11) issues for their potential to be affected by continued commercial mariculture activities. Of these, the committee's evaluation will be limited to the eight (8) science issues: wetlands, eelgrass, wildlife and wildlife habitat, special-status species, coastal flood zones, soundscapes, water quality, and socioeconomic resources. Because the impact assessments for the other three (3) issues covered in the DEIS (wilderness, visitor experience and recreation, and the National Park Service [NPS] operations) are not based primarily on scientific research and analysis, the current study will not cover these topics nor will it review any policy or legal information.



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APPENDIX A Statement of Task An ad hoc committee will assess the scientific information, analysis, and conclusions presented in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for Drakes Bay Oyster Company Special Use Permit and evaluate whether the peer review of the DEIS conducted by Atkins, North America for the U.S. Department of the Interior, is fundamentally sound and materially sufficient. The committee will not perform an independent evaluation of the environmental impacts of the proposed alternatives, but will restrict its findings to the strength of the scientific arguments in the DEIS and identify concerns, if any, not covered in the Atkins peer review. The DEIS identifies and evaluates eleven (11) issues for their potential to be affected by continued commercial mariculture activities. Of these, the committee's evaluation will be limited to the eight (8) science issues: wetlands, eelgrass, wildlife and wildlife habitat, special-status species, coastal flood zones, soundscapes, water quality, and socioeconomic resources. Because the impact assessments for the other three (3) issues covered in the DEIS (wilderness, visitor experience and recreation, and the National Park Service [NPS] operations) are not based primarily on scientific research and analysis, the current study will not cover these topics nor will it review any policy or legal information. 63

OCR for page 63