July 8, 2013
Rachelle Daigneault, 410-629-6088
The National Park Service (NPS), in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration, will be preparing an environmental assessment to address the proposed relocation of parking areas at Assateague Island National Seashore, Maryland. The purpose of the proposed project is to relocate the Bayside Picnic Parking Area and South Ocean Beach Parking Area to locations that are more sustainable, less exposed to the elements and less susceptible to damage from future storm events in order to provide continued visitor access to these areas of the national seashore. The proposed project is needed because:
- The existing parking lot locations are vulnerable to reoccurring storm activity and susceptible to damage.
- The necessary clean up and repair to the parking areas required after reoccurring storm events places a burden on park operations.
- Prolonged parking area closures limit the national seashore's ability to provide high quality resource-based recreational opportunities to the public.
- The continued erosion and encroachment of asphalt and boardwalk materials at the Bayside Picnic Parking Area serves as a source of manmade debris into the Chincoteague Bay, the Atlantic Ocean, and along the surrounding shoreline.
- Maintaining the current location of the South Ocean Beach Parking Area is altering the geomorphology of the island by preventing the natural inland migration of the adjacent sand dunes.
The environmental assessment will address any potential impacts to natural or cultural resources that may result from the proposed project. We will be gathering input from park staff, other agencies and the public to consider the potential effects of the proposed project. Comments submitted to the website or by mail are welcome at any time; however, they should be received no later than August 9, 2013.
Comments may be submitted online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/asis or mailed to the park at the following address:
Acting Superintendent Justin Unger
Assateague Island National Seashore
ATTN: Bayside Picnic and South Ocean Beach Parking Areas Relocation EA Comments
7206 National Seashore Lane
Berlin, MD 21811