Critical habitat is designated for leatherback turtles as described in this section. The textual descriptions of critical habitat in this section are the definitive source for determining the critical habitat boundaries. The overview map is provided for general guidance purposes only and not as a definitive source for determining critical habitat boundaries.
(a) The waters adjacent to Sandy Point, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, up to and inclusive of the waters from the hundred fathom curve shoreward to the level of mean high tide with boundaries at 17°42′12″ N. and 64°50′00″ W.
(b) All U.S. coastal marine waters within the areas in paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) of this section and as described in paragraphs (b)(3) and (4) of this section and depicted in paragraph (b)(5) of this section:
(i) The area bounded by Point Sur (36°18′22″ N./121°54′9″ W.) then north along the shoreline following the line of extreme low water to Point Arena, California (38°57′14″ N./123°44′26″ W.) then west to 38°57′14″ N./123°56′44″ W. then south along the 200 meter isobath to 36°18′46″ N./122°4′43″ W. then east to the point of origin at Point Sur.
(ii) Nearshore area from Point Arena, California, to Point Arguello, California (34°34′33″ N./120°38′41″ W.), exclusive of Area 1 (see above) and offshore to a line connecting 38°57′14″ N./124°18′36″ W. and 34°34′32″ N./121°39′51″ W along the 3000 meter isobath.
(2) Oregon/Washington. The area bounded by Cape Blanco, Oregon (42°50′4″ N./124°33′44″ W.) north along the shoreline following the line of extreme low water to Cape Flattery, Washington (48°23′10″ N./124°43′32″ W.) then north to the U.S./Canada boundary at 48°29′38″ N./124°43′32″ W. then west and south along the line of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone to 47°57′38″ N./126°22′54″ W. then south along a line approximating the 2,000 meter isobath that passes through points at 47°39′55″ N./126°13′28″ W., 45°20′16″ N./125°21′ W. to 42°49′59″ N./125°8′10″ W. then east to the point of origin at Cape Blanco.
(3) Critical habitat extends to a water depth of 80 meters from the ocean surface and is delineated along the shoreline at the line of extreme low water, except in the case of estuaries and bays where COLREGS lines (defined at 33 CFR part 80) shall be used as the shoreward boundary of critical habitat.
(4) Primary Constituent Elements. The primary constituent element essential for conservation of leatherback turtles is the occurrence of prey species, primarily scyphomedusae of the order Semaeostomeae (Chrysaora, Aurelia, Phacellophora, and Cyanea), of sufficient condition, distribution, diversity, abundance and density necessary to support individual as well as population growth, reproduction, and development of leatherbacks.
(5) A map of critical habitat for leatherback sea turtles follows.
[77 FR 4200, Jan. 26, 2012]