2019 WOTUS Rule Implemented Except in Colorado

By Myla Ablog, WRA, Inc., Aquatic Resources Permitting Specialist On June 22, 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) implemented the new Navigable Waters Protection Rule (2019 Rule) that defines “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) in all states except Colorado where a federal judge stayed the implementation. This is an … Continue Reading »

The Foothill Yellow-legged Frog: Status Update and Steps for Compliance

Updated June 11, 2020 (originally published September 13, 2018) By Brian Freiermuth, Wildlife Biologist Foothill Yellow-legged Frog Life History The foothill yellow-legged frog (FYLF), Rana boylii, is visually one of the more non-descript frogs in California, but it must gamble for survival. Although FYLF breed in relatively calm parts of streams, these areas are prone … Continue Reading »

[VIDEO] WRA Celebrates American Wetlands Month, 2020

A special video from WRA CEO, Geoff Smick, in honor of American Wetlands Month. WRA Celebrates American Wetlands Month, 2020 from WRA, Inc. on Vimeo. As part of our American Wetlands Month celebration, we put together a short video on the importance of wetlands, WRA’s history and vision for these critical ecosystems, and a few … Continue Reading »

Why You Should Check For This Underwater Plant Before Planning In-Water Construction

Perhaps you are considering the addition of a private boat pier to your property, or need to increase the depth of a channel through dredging. For whatever in-water construction you are planning, it’s important to know if an underwater plant called eelgrass lives in or near your project site to make sure your work can start without a hitch.

Programmatic Biological Opinions for Ecological Restoration: Efficient Section 7 Consultation with NMFS for Projects in Riparian and Aquatic Habitat

Many habitat restoration project applicants, whether proposing voluntary or mitigation activities, need a federal permit or have federal grant funding for their projects, or both. By Erik Schmidt, WRA Regulatory Permitting Specialist The Endangered Species Act (ESA) states that all federal agencies are responsible for conserving threatened and endangered species and their habitat. Section 7 … Continue Reading »

Oak Knoll Groundbreaking September 12, 2018

  On September 12, 2018, the Oak Knoll development project broke ground after nearly decades of planning. WRA’s Amanda McCarthy, Kari Dupler, and Susie Bennett attended the event as guests alongside our client SunCal, government officials including Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and Oakland City Council President Larry Reid, and local community leaders. The site, formerly … Continue Reading »

WRA Participates in NAHB ESA Practitioner Panel

Through WRA’s involvement in the California Building Industry Association, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) invited Amanda McCarthy, PhD PWS, to join a panel of practitioners and to speak about WRA’s experiences working with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for consultation on impacts to listed species under the Federal Endangered Species … Continue Reading »

Silicon Valley Clean Water Project Wins AEP 2018 Outstanding Environmental Analysis Award

The Association of Environmental Professionals (AEP) held their annual conference in Palm Springs March 25-28, 2018 in Rancho Mirage, California. The Silicon Valley Clean Water Wastewater Conveyance System and Treatment Plant Reliability Improvement Project Environmental Impact Report (EIR) was recognized with AEP’s top honor – the Outstanding Environmental Analysis Award. WRA wishes to congratulate our … Continue Reading »

Spring Environmental Checklist

RARE PLANT SURVEY Conducting a full season of rare plant surveys before designing your project can help you avoid last-minute redesigns and costly project delays. The first step is conducting a habitat assessment to determine whether rare plants have potential to occur on your site and whether surveys are needed. Because different rare plants bloom … Continue Reading »

Endangered Species Habitat Expanded in Marin

The Creekside Marsh near Hal Brown Park is home to the endangered salt marsh harvest mouse, California Ridgway’s rail, and many other tidal marsh species.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers filled this marsh and many other tidal wetlands in the watershed with dredge spoils in the late 1960’s when the earthen channel for the … Continue Reading »