East San Pedro Bay Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study

This Final Integrated Feasibility Report with Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report presents a summary of the planning process, describes affected environmental resources, and evaluates potential impacts to those resources as a result of constructing, operating, and maintaining the East San Pedro Bay Ecosystem Restoration Project.

The primary project goal is to restore and improve aquatic ecosystem structure and function for increased habitat biodiversity and ecosystem value of the San Pedro Bay within the proposed Project Area of East San Pedro Bay. Restoration would address the historic loss of sensitive marine habitat with associated nursery, reproductive, and other ecological functions, as well as address reduced abundance and biodiversity of marine populations as a result of this historic habitat loss.

The Federal lead agency responsible for implementing the National Environmental Policy Act is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles District. The local lead agency responsible for implementing the California Environmental Quality Act is the City of Long Beach.

A range of alternatives for restoring 18 square miles of the East San Pedro Bay were evaluated during the planning process. Considered restoration measures included rock and rocky reef habitat that would support kelp, eelgrass, and other sensitive species or habitat types; sandy shorebird habitat; and coastal wetlands. The study is focused on evaluating opportunities to restore substrate and habitats with broad ecosystem value, rather than focusing on restoring for individual species. The study evaluated the No Action Alternative and three Action Alternatives in detail: Alternatives 2, 4A, and 8. The Recommended Plan is the National Ecosystem Restoration Plan, Alternative 4A, which includes the following activities:

•    Sourcing, transporting, and staging of approximately 680,000 tons of quarry stone over an estimated eight years of active construction;
•    Construction of 24 separate kelp beds totaling approximately 121 acres, consisting of a single layer of rock approximately five acres each, and using a “push off” method from an anchored derrick barge;
•    Construction of two separate open water rocky reefs totaling approximately 29 acres, with each reef containing roughly 50 individual mounds of rocks ranging in height between 3-12 feet and approximately 80-100 feet in diameter;
•    Construction of six separate nearshore rocky reefs totaling approximately 20 acres, with each reef covering approximately 4-5 acres in a linear configuration parallel to the shoreline;
•    Dredging of approximately 100,000 cubic yards of sand from the Surfside/Sunset borrow area for placement on the leeward, beach side, of nearshore rocky reefs for the establishment of eelgrass beds; and
•    The planting of eelgrass in six discrete beds totaling approximately 30 acres on the leeward side of nearshore rocky reefs using transplanted eelgrass material obtained from donor beds.