Access methods for development may result in loss of wetland habitat and can significantly alter coastal processes such as salinity and hydrology, which can modify the distribution and abundance of living marine resources. The placement of fill material should avoid covering sensitive areas and altering hydrology. Fill materials such as sand, gravel, rock, or similar materials for roadway construction may not be placed below mean high water or in state-owned wetlands.
Lessees must, to the greatest extent possible, use existing channels, canals, and other deep-water areas to avoid impacts to sensitive areas, and minimize initial and maintenance dredging requirements. Where construction of a new channel is unavoidable, siting to avoid impacts to sensitive areas such as bird rookeries, oyster reefs, and areas of submerged aquatic vegetation is important. In addition, canals and channels should not cut through barrier beaches, barrier islands, or other Gulf shoreline protection features.
All activities should be coordinated with the commenting agencies and should use Best Management Practices to avoid unnecessary impacts to sensitive areas. The following mitigation sequence may be applied during the evaluation of potential adverse impacts of a project: (1) avoidance of adverse impacts; (2) minimization of adverse impacts; and (3) compensation for unavoidable adverse impacts.
For information on Best Management Practices and guidelines to reduce the overall impact to the environments and facilitate permitting, please visit:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District construction guidelines: http://www.swg.usace.army.mil/BusinessWithUs/Regulatory/ConstructionGuidelines.aspx
Definitions and Explanations