AMS prepared a detailed assessment and characterization of marine seafloor habitats and associated biological communities along two fiber optic cable routes through nearshore waters offshore of Manchester, California.
In the past two decades, increased demand for trans-Pacific communications have resulted in installation of dozens of new fiber optic cables terminating in the California coastal zone. Each cable landing requires a careful process to locate and install the cable landings to best minimize potential negative effects from these construction projects. As just one example of AMS’ efforts in support of the fiber optic cable industry, AMS was contracted to prepare a detailed assessment and characterization of marine seafloor habitats and associated biological communities along two fiber optic cable routes through nearshore waters offshore of Manchester, California.
AMS prepared several assessments as a part of this Project. First, AMS scientists assessed marine resources present in the Project area and potential environment effects of fiber optic cable installation and operations to marine taxa and habitats posed by construction and operation. AMS next developed a detailed assessment of potential fiber optic cable routes in the nearshore waters of California offshore of Manchester Beach as to their potential effects upon the nearshore environment. The characterization report utilized assorted peer reviewed and gray literature studies and information to characterize the habitats and associated marine taxa and communities inhabiting those habitats in Central California, and assessed the potential effects of cable installation and operation on those habitats and taxa. This document supported the preparation of subsequent CEQA analysis for the California State Lands Commission (CSLC).
The route characterization report incorporated recently-gathered geophysical seafloor mapping data, regional and statewide ROV surveys, and other scientific characterization studies to recommend the environmentally-preferable cable route. The route characterization report was prepared primarily for use by the California Coastal Commission (CCC) in issuing a coastal development permit for the fiber optic cable installation project. The characterization report fully met their needs and negated the need for a site-specific survey and assessment of the cable route by ROV.
AMS has been heavily-involved in the fiber optic cable industry since 2000. AMS has also performed a wide variety of other services in support of the industry, including conduct of compliance monitoring during construction efforts. Overall, AMS has participated in 34 of the 39 telecommunication cables landing in California since 2000. AMS is able to bring this extensive experience to bear on HDD projects as well as a variety of related nearshore infrastructure projects facing similar issues.
Jay Johnson serves as project manager for AMS for cable route characterizations. Jay Johnson is a senior oceanographer with over 30 years of experience supporting a wide variety of commercial and industrial clients, as well as regulatory and resource management agencies.