Kind of like getting a second opinion from a specialist.
The ESA requires all federal departments and agencies to work to conserve endangered and threatened species. Different agencies oversee different things, so when one is issuing a permit, funding, or work for an activity that might affect a listed species or habitat, it’s required to consult with other agencies about the potential impacts.
For example, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) reviews and issues permits for things like developing offshore wind energy or seismic testing in the ocean. BOEM has to check in with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), which is responsible for marine mammals, for their analysis of potential impacts and how to avoid harm to endangered populations.
These consultations are another opportunity for conservation groups and the public to provide information and even make suggestions about the best protections needed.