August 26, 2013
Bill Hulslander, 410-629-6061
The National Park Service (NPS) is releasing the Bayside Picnic and South Ocean Beach Parking Areas Removal and Relocation Environmental Assessment (EA) 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 popular recreational areas, limit operational expenses associated with maintaining these assets, and to make each area more resilient during future storm events.
Two alternatives were analyzed for meeting the objectives of the project:
- Alternative A, No Action / Continue Current Management: 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 represents a continuation of existing management and provides a baseline for evaluating the impacts of the action alternative.
- Alternative B, Removal and Relocation of Parking Areas: 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 locations further away from active shorelines and thus less susceptible to damage from future storm events. This approach would provide visitor access to these areas and limit operational expenses associated with maintaining the existing parking locations.
Additionally, relocating the South Ocean Beach Parking Area will allow for improved management of the dune landscape and increased stabilization of the primary dunes at this 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 may result from the proposed project. Neither of the alternatives analyzed in this environmental assessment would result in significant environmental impacts.
Comments may be submitted online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/asis or mailed to the park at the following address:
Assateague Island National Seashore
ATTN: Bayside Picnic and South Ocean Beach Parking Areas Relocation EA Comments
7206 National Seashore Lane
Berlin, MD 21811
Comments submitted to the website or by mail are welcome at any time; however, they should be received no later than September 25, 2013.