Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo

410-641-0039

Assateague environmental assessment out for public comment

ASSATEAGUE NATIONAL SEASHORE—The National Park Service is
releasing the Bayside Picnic and South Ocean Beach Parking Areas Removal and
Relocation Environmental Assessment for public review and comment.

This project proposes to remove and relocate the existing
bayside picnic and south ocean beach parking areas in Maryland, both of which
sustained significant damage from Hurricane Sandy last year.

The goals of the project are to provide continued visitor
access to these areas, limit expenses associated with maintaining them and make
each area more resistant to future storms.

Two alternatives were analyzed for meeting the objectives:

In Alternative A, the No Action / Continue Current
Management plan, the National Park Service would continue to use and maintain
the existing Bayside picnic parking area, the south ocean beach parking area,
and Life of the Dunes Trail parking area with no changes to the current
infrastructure or locations. This alternative continues existing management and
provides a baseline for evaluating the impacts of the action alternative.

In Alternative B, the Removal and
Relocation of Parking Areas plan, the existing bayside picnic, south ocean
beach, and Life of the Dunes Trail parking areas would be removed and the
bayside picnic parking area and south ocean beach parking area would be
relocated to further from active shorelines, making them less vulnerable to
damage from future storms.

This approach would provide visitor access to these areas and
limit operational expenses of maintaining the existing parking locations.

Relocating the south ocean beach parking area will allow for
better management of the dune landscape and increased stabilization of the
primary dunes at the location. This alternative should also provide more
reliable visitor access to both parking areas within the national seashore.

The environmental assessment addresses potential impacts to
park resources that might result if the proposed project is carried out.
Neither of the alternatives analyzed would lead to significant environmental
impacts.

Comments may be submitted online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/asis or
mailed to the park via Justin Unger, Acting Superintendent, Assateague Island
National Seashore, ATTN: Bayside Picnic and South Ocean Beach Parking Areas
Relocation EA Comments, 7206 National Seashore Lane,
Berlin, Md. 21811.

Comments must be received no later than September 25.