Beginning in June 2021, Azura Marine Mammal Observers (MMOs) began monitoring for marine mammal interaction during pile-driving activities for the Chesapeake Tunnel Joint Venture (CTJV) as they work on the Parallel Thimble Shoals Tunnel Project between Islands One and Two of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel in Virginia Beach, VA.
The MMOs consult, monitor, and implement mitigation to prevent impacts or harassment of any marine mammals found in the zones surrounding the construction activity. The primary species of concern are humpback whales, harbor porpoises, bottlenose dolphins, harbor seals, and gray seals. To date, our MMOs have documented and photographed sightings of bottlenose dolphins and loggerhead sea turtles.
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel spans 17.6 miles across the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay connecting the Delmarva Peninsula to southeastern Virginia. The construction project will create a parallel tunnel between the first two islands adding additional lanes to help alleviate traffic and improve safety. The project is slated to be completed in 2024.
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