Based on it’s name, one would expect, at the very least, data and evidence to support findings of environmental impact.
The entire dEIS is available on line at:
How the dEIS is broken down:
It totals 722 pages cover to cover. When you scroll down to the sub-heading “Document Content”, you will find the dEIS broken into eight manageable PDF documents:
1. Front Matter (which includes)
b. Executive Summary
c. (Table of) Contents
2. Chapter 1 – Purpose and Need for Action
3. Chapter 2 – Alternatives
a. all ultimately ending with termination and removal of the oyster operations
b. missing is a “No Action Alternative”
4. Chapter 3 – Affected Environment (those “topics” deemed potentially impacted)
5. Chapter 4 – Environmental Consequences (to what degree, if any, the different
alternatives will affect each of the impact topics)
6. Chapter 5 – Consultation and Coordination
Top Three Major Points to Ponder
1. Potential vs. Data and Evidence, since this is a PDF document, one can run a find for words or phrases.
a. Do a find for the word “potential”
i. “potential” appears over 700 times.
ii. Delete the combination phrase “potential wilderness” and “potential” as it relates to HYPOTHETICAL POTENTIAL IMPACT (meaning no evidence of actual impact) appears 514 times
b. Do a find for “data” and “evidence” supporting impact statements and you will find
i. 7 references total
1. 1 reference to seals (which turns out to be a positive impact)
2. 0 references to eelgrass
3. 0 references to red-legged frogs
c. Conclusion: There is NO EVIDENCE OR DATA to support any finding of minor, moderate, or major negative impact on any impact topic in the dEIS
2. Chapter 1, Purpose and Need for Action, References Used for Impact Analysis, page 23 states:
a. “Secondary references are those for which evidentiary support is not directly traceable to a source that complies with recognized standards for data documentation and scientific inquiry. Secondary references can include documents that have not been subjected to peer review or that do not reflect direct on-site observations or measurements in accordance with a standard protocol for data documentation.”
b. “In general, secondary references were not used for the analysis, unless there was a compelling reason to do so.”
i. The National Academies of Science, after reviewing the NPS report concluded that resolving the controversy over the potential harbor seal disturbances “… would require a data collection system that could be independently verified, such as time and date stamped photographs. This verification is especially important in circumstances where there is an indication of a source of disturbance that could lead to a regulatory action, as was the case with disturbances attributed to DBOC.”
ii. Legislation enacted by Senator Dianne Feinstein instructed NPS to follow the NAS conclusion of no major adverse impact.
iii. The NPS
1. Installed and operated cameras to record minute-by-minute photographs during the Harbor Seal pupping seasons for over three years.
2. Each photograph is logged and analyzed
3. 281,000 photos evidence no harm to harbor seals by DBOC
c. Conclusion: The 281,000 photos are PHOTOGRAPHIC DATA AND EVIDENCE OF NO HARM TO HARBOR SEALS by DBOC and should be included in the dEIS
3. Becker 2011 report titled “Evidence for long term spatial displacement of breeding and pupping harbour seals by shellfish aquaculture over three decades”
a. No evidence is provided in a fourteen-year gap.
b. The information from ’82 and ’83 are notes from some unidentified person’s notebook while on a field trip. This source is categorized as a secondary reference on page 23, however on that same page is the following statement “In general, secondary references were not used for the analysis, unless there was a compelling reason to do so.”
c. The “evidence of displacement” shows seals SOUGHT REFUGE IN Drakes Estero over a two-year period when a marauding elephant seal killed 40 seals.
d. Conclusion: There is
i. NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER OF DISPLACEMENT OF HARBOR SEALS OUT OF DRAKES ESTERO EXISTS.
ii. THERE IS NO NEGATIVE IMPACT TO HARBOR SEALS BY DBOC