Access at seashore locations
The stairs at Nauset Light Beach in Eastham are closed due to storm damage. Herring Cove North Lot in Provincetown sustained damage resulting in closure of multiple parking spaces. The Nauset Marsh Trail bridge was destroyed in a 2012 storm. More »
Announcing the Extension of the Herring Cove Beach North Public Access Site Plan Environmental Assessment Public Review Period and New Public Meeting Date
Contact: George E. Price, Jr., 508-957-0701
Superintendent George Price announces that the Herring Cove Beach North Public Access Site Plan Environmental Assessment (EA) public review and comment period has been extended to November 30, 2013. Additionally, the public meeting that was postponed due to the government shutdown has been rescheduled to Tuesday, November 19 from 4-6 PM. The meeting will be held at the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies Lab, 5 Holway Avenue, Provincetown, MA 02657.
The National Park Service (NPS) released the long-term plan at the end of September for management of the deteriorating Herring Cove Beach North parking lot in a way that considers the potential for future erosion, sea level rise, coastal flooding during storm events, and long-term sustainability; that restores natural systems to the greatest extent possible; and that also retains the recreational experience to the greatest extent possible. Herring Cove Beach is of special concern to the residents and visitors of Provincetown, Massachusetts because it is the only remaining Provincetown beach with direct water view parking and car-to-sand access for people of all ages and abilities. Action is needed at this time because recent storms have damaged sections of the revetment and the parking lot. A long-term plan is needed to maintain values that have made it a local favorite for decades, ease of access to the beach and expansive views of Cape Cod Bay from the parking lot year-round.
Development of the alternatives is the result of coordination with the national seashore's Advisory Commission, the Town of Provincetown, and outreach to the general public.
The Advisory Commission established a Herring Cove Beach Subcommittee. Members of a technical team presented overviews of coastal science, engineering, and federal and state policy considerations; this included maps illustrating historic, current, and predicted shoreline locations to understand the historic and estimated erosion rate of 2.5 feet per year. The Subcommittee met four times between December 2012 and May 2013 and recommended a preferred alternative concept to the Advisory Commission, endorsed by the full Advisory Commission and the Provincetown Board of Selectmen, which was ultimately chosen as the NPS preferred alternative.
The NPS prepared the EA to evaluate alternatives for the site plan and the environmental consequences of implementing the alternatives. The EA evaluates three alternatives. Alternative C is entitled One-Time Retreat and is the NPS Preferred Alternative. The NPS would replace the existing Herring Cove North parking lot and asphalt revetment with a new asphalt parking lot 125 feet inland from the current parking lot proposed at the 15-foot elevation, one foot above the highest projected base flood elevation. A setback of 125 feet is intended to keep this facility beyond the reach of erosion of the natural beach for a 50-year life span. The sand that has accumulated east of the existing parking lot would be redistributed to support the new parking lot and to provide a low-crested protective berm just to the west of the new parking lot, however recreational access and views to the beach would be preserved.
If you wish to comment on this EA, you may mail comments through November 30, 2013 to the address below or post them electronically at <http://parkplanning.nps.gov/caco>.
Cape Cod National Seashore Headquarters
99 Marconi Site Road
Wellfleet, MA 02667
Did You Know?
Because of coastal erosion of 3 feet a year, the sea has threatened historical landmarks over the years. A few examples of those moved back from the edge include the Old Harbor Life-Saving Station, the Three Sisters, Nauset, and Highland Lights, and the French Cable Hut.