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Regulatory Permit Program

Protecting Endangered Species

The Corps, in partnership with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), is committed to ensure protection for federally listed species and critical habitats, as required under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
This page is intended as a clearinghouse for information on Endangered Species as it applies to the Corps Wilmington District permit program. 

 

Endangered Species Act Compliance

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How Do I Know Whether My Proposed Activity in Waters or Wetlands May Impact Endangered Species or Critical Habitat?

Although the Corps routinely checks all applications for nationwide and general permits for proximity to known occurrences of endangered species, designated critical habitat and potential habitat suitable for protected species, using best available data sets, the Corps also relies on self-reporting by applicants to ensure Section 7 compliance, for authorization under the nationwide or general permit program. There are a number of online resources, some of which are linked to the right column of the page, which applicants should use in making these checks.

Please note, however, that information, maps and data are provided for planning purposes for our stakeholders. The information on this site is not meant to replace any existing guidelines, rules, regulations or legal procedures. Field investigations are still necessary for locating protected species, and contact with appropriate FWS or NMFS staff is still recommended if there is a likelihood of encountering federally protected species or habitats.)

Please also check with the Corps regulatory project manager for the county in which the permitting activity is proposed.

Questions can also be directed to the Services:

Contact information at US FWS: (exit Corps Wilmington District web site)

Asheville Ecological Services Field Office

Raleigh Ecological Services Field Office

Sandhills Ecological Services Sub-Office

What is a Section 7 Consultation?

Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act directs all federal agencies to use their existing authorities to conserve threatened and endangered species and, in consultation with the Service, to ensure that their actions do not jeopardize listed species or destroy or adversely modify critical habitat.

 The Corps has taken special steps to ensure Section 7 compliance with all facets of our permit program.

Corps of Engineers Permits and ESA

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Nationwide Permits

General Condition 18 of the 2017 Nationwide Permits explains the requirements of the ESA with respect to the Nationwide Permits (NWPs). The District Regional Conditions provide further protection for the aquatic resources in NC to ensure Section 7 compliance. Applicants must ensure that the ESA screening is reported on the Pre-Construction Notification (PCN) form. Contact the Corps project manager for the county in which the activity is proposed for any questions or assistance needed.

 

Regional General Permits

The District Regional General Permit program will not authorize any activity which will adversely affect any threatened or endangered species or a species proposed for such designation, or their critical habitat.

 

Standard (Individual) Permits

All standard (individual) permits will undergo a full agency review under Section 7 of the ESA.

Geospatial (GIS) Data

(shapefile format in zip archive, data courtesy US FWS)

Download directions - use system downloader or right click and "save target as" and save archive to saved destination.

Watersheds with Federally Listed Aquatic Species
 
Designated Critical Habitat: Elktoe Mussel 

Designated Critical Habitat: Carolina Heelsplitter Mussel 

Designated Critical Habitat: Cape Fear Shiner 

Designated Critical Habitat: Waccamaw Silverside 

Designated Critical Habitat: Spotfin Chub

ESA News

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See Module below on Northern Long-Eared Bat (NLEB) Standard Local Operating Procedures for Endangered Species (SLOPES) and for information on what applicants must do to comply with these requirements.
May 3, 2016 - The US FWS in NC (Raleigh and Asheville Field Offices) posted information about the Northern Long-eared Bat in NC. The Northern Long Eared Bat was listed in 2015 under the Endangered Species Act as Threatened. The Service is conducting surveys to identify the presence of the species and their seasonal habitats in NC. On April 26, 2016, the Service determined that it was not prudent at this time to determine critical habitat for the Northern Long-eared Bat. Survey activities are underway to study this species to best determine strategies for improved survival.

NLEB SLOPES

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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) listed the Northern long-eared bat (NLEB)(Myotis septentrionalis) as threatened on April 2, 2015. On January 14, 2016, the Service finalized a special rule under the authority of Section 4(d) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

A Standard Local Operating Procedures for Endangered Species (SLOPES) for the NLEB was developed between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Wilmington District, and the Service's Asheville and Raleigh Ecological Services Offices. This SLOPES details how the USACE will make determinations of effect to the NLEB when the USACE is the lead federal agency for a project, and it is applicable to activities regulated under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act or Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899, in the western 41 counties of North Carolina, to include North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) non-federal aid projects. The NLEB SLOPES is also applicable to non-NCDOT projects in the eastern 59 counties of North Carolina. This SLOPES does not address NCDOT projects (either federal or state funded) in the eastern 59 counties, as separate programmatic consultation was conducted for these projects. If another federal agency is the lead for a project, procedures for satisfying the requirements of Section 7(a)(2) of the ESA will be dictated by that agency and will not be applicable for consideration under this SLOPES.

This SLOPES addresses effects to the NLEB only. Effects to other federally listed species (listed species) and/or to federally-designated critical habitat (critical habitat) will be processed via traditional consultation methods, unless separate SLOPES or other agreements with the Service have been reached for those species and/or critical habitat.

“Non-notifying Permit,” “non-notification,” or "non-reporting permit" means that an applicant is not required to submit an application or PCN to the USACE prior to conducting work in waters of the U.S. Non-notification applies to certain Nationwide Permits (NPWs) and Regional General Permits (RGPs) in North Carolina, and is only applicable to activities that meet specific criteria. Non-notifying permits typically involve minor impacts to waters of the U.S. All NWPs and RGPs are conditioned so that activities authorized, including those activities that qualify for non-notification, can occur only if the requirements of Section 7(a)(2) of the ESA have been satisfied. The process for determining if a project (that would otherwise qualify as non-notification) would qualify for non-notification once the NLEB is considered, is located in the following documents: Section V. of the SLOPES, the 2017 Wilmington District NWP Regional Conditions, RGPs that authorize non-notifying activities, and in the public notice announcing implementation of the NLEB SLOPES.
NLEB SLOPES  PN dated March 8, 2017

2017 Signed NLEB SLOPES for USACE-lead projects in NC

This SLOPES details how the USACE will make determinations of effect to the NLEB when the USACE is the lead federal agency for a project, and it is applicable to activities regulated under Section 404 of the CWA or Section 10 of the RHA in the western 41 counties of North Carolina, to include North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) non-federal aid projects. This SLOPES is also applicable to non-NCDOT projects in the eastern 59 counties of North Carolina. This SLOPES does not address NCDOT projects (either federal or state funded) in the eastern 59 counties, as separate consultation was conducted for these projects and a PBO was issued on March 25, 2015. Note that if another federal agency is the lead for a
project, procedures for satisfying the requirements of Section 7(a)(2) of the ESA will be dictated by that agency and will not be applicable for consideration under this SLOPES.

Online Resources

IPAC System:  USFWS Interactive Planning Tool, the Information, Planning, and Consultation System. An interactive project planning tool that helps provide a quick site proximity screening to assist before you have designed your project.


County List Map: USFWS online map with Endangered and Threatened Species and Species of Concern by County for North Carolina. 


NC Stories - ESA in Action:  USFWS interpretative web page on stories of how the Endangered Species Act (ESA) has helped protect threatened and endangered plants, animals and habitat in the state.

 

Documents & Maps

ESA Basics

USFWS 2013 40 Year Anniversary Fact Sheet about the Endangered Species Act

Other FWS Resources:   

Optimal Field Survey Timeframe for Protected Plants

Manatee Precautionary Guidelines - Factsheet for work in waters in NC


NC Protected Marine Species: NOAA Fisheries, Southeast Region, Protected Resources Division fact sheet about protected marine Threatened and Endangered Species and critical habitats of North Carolina.


In-house Presentations:   

Newly Designated Critical Habitat in NC Waters for Loggerhead Turtle  (2014)

Atlantic Sturgeon in NC Waters  (2013)


 Maps:

NC Watersheds with Federally Listed Aquatic Species  (2007, in PDF format 8.5"x14" color, 1.3MB)

Designated Critical Habitat: Elktoe Mussel  (2007, in PDF format 8.5"x14" color, 1.0MB)

Designated Critical Habitat: Carolina Heelsplitter Mussel  (2007, in PDF format 8.5" x 11" color, 336KB)

Designated Critical Habitat: Cape Fear Shiner  (2007, in PDF format 8.5" x 11" color, 323KB)

Designated Critical Habitat Waccamaw Silverside  (2007, in PDF format 8.5" x 11" color, 49.6KB)

Designated Critical Habitat Spotfin Chub  (2007, in PDF format 8.5" x 11" color, 586KB)

NC Natural Heritage Areas of State and Federal Significance  (2007, in PDF format 11" x 17" color, 1.8MB)