Threatened & Endangered Species

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Region III has many different types of land features. From coastlines to mountains, salt marshes to prairies, and caves to woodlands, our region supports an enormous range of plant and animal species. Some of these are unique to our region, some are rare, and some are particularly at special points in their lifecycles. These are listed specifically and are protected under the Endangered Species Act, including birds, mammals, fishes, reptiles, amphibians, and plants. Endangered species are not necessarily exotic-looking, and they may be familiar to you as a local. For example, in West Virginia, there are several mussels that are considered endangered. In Pennsylvania, the bog turtle has been a concern during some disaster recoveries. As you begin recovery actions, you need to consider the effects of your actions on these creatures and their habitats.

Species (and habitats) may be listed by the federal government or by state governments. If you believe any federally listed or proposed species may be affected (positively or negatively) by your actions, additional information can be obtained from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Because state lists and regulations can be managed by multiple agencies, Region III advises you seek professional assistance from FEMA or your state Department of Environmental Protection (or equivalent agency).

Essential Fish Habitats (EFH)

Special habitats have also been designated to protect and conserve the habitats of marine, estuarine, and anadromous finfish, mollusks, and crustaceans. These habitats are termed "essential fish habitats" and are broadly defined to include "those waters and substrate necessary to fish for spawning, breeding, feeding, or growth to maturity." For the New England and Mid-Atlantic regions, EFH has been identified for a total of 59 species covered by 14 fishery management plans (FMPs). These are mainly located in the following:

Delaware Bay

  • Delaware Inland Bays
  • Choptank River
  • James River

Tangier/Pocomoke Sound

  • Chester River
  • Patuxent River
  • Rappahannock River

Chesapeake Bay, Mainstream

  • Chincoteague Bay
  • Potomac River
  • York River

Consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) must take place when any activity proposed to be permitted, funded or undertaken by a federal agency may have adverse impacts on designated Essential Fish Habitat. Contact the National Marine Fisheries Service Office or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Related Information

List of specific regional or state contacts

Last Updated: 
04/20/2015 - 15:57
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