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Replacement Planned for Scorpion Pier on Santa Cruz Island

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Date: May 29, 2013
Contact: Yvonne Menard, 805-658-5725

Channel Islands National Park Superintendent Russell Galipeau announced today the beginning of a planning process to replace and potentially relocate the pier at Scorpion Anchorage on eastern Santa Cruz Island.

Scorpion Pier is the primary access for visitors landing at Santa Cruz Island. Over 55,000 people come ashore each year to enjoy recreational activities including hiking, picnicking, camping, kayaking, and swimming.

The existing Scorpion Pier is a flatbed railcar that was installed as a temporary facility in 2000 and is deteriorating due to wave action and saltwater. During low tides vessels sometimes cannot use the pier due to shallow water depths. Each year the pier access road undergoes reconstruction due to wave erosion.

The National Park Service (NPS) is planning to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), to evaluate the pier replacement. The two alternatives currently under consideration include replacing the pier in its existing location and replacing the pier at a location approximately 150 feet to the south.

Replacing the pier in its present location would include some armoring of the shoreline to protect the pier access road. Constructing the pier to the south on the shoreline would require a shorter access road with a small amount of scour protection. In either location, the new pier will need to be longer and higher than the existing pier to facilitate safer vessel mooring in deeper water.

The goals of the proposed pier replacement project include improving access for boats, passengers, and cargo; protecting marine and terrestrial resources; and preserving the historic character of Scorpion Valley.

A Notice of Intent for an Environmental Impact Statement for this project has been published in the Federal Register. A draft EIS for this project is expected to be completed and available for public comment by winter of 2014.

Public involvement will be essential throughout the planning process. Interested individuals, organizations, and agencies may submit written comments online at: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/ScorpionPier.
Comments can be mailed to:  

Scorpion Pier Project
Channel Islands National Park
1901 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura, CA 93001

The public is invited to attend open house forums to obtain additional information and submit comments concerning issues and alternatives that should be considered in the planning process.

An open house will be held on Tuesday, June 18, 2013, from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm at the Channel Island National Park Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center at 1901 Spinnaker Drive in the Ventura Harbor. On Wednesday, June 19, 2013, an open house will be held from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm at the Santa Barbara Public Library at 40 E. Anapamu Street in Santa Barbara.

Did You Know?

Painted Cave, Santa Cruz Island

Painted Cave on Santa Cruz Island is one of the world’s largest known sea caves. The cave measures 1215 feet in length (the size of more than four football fields), has a 160 foot entrance, and is almost 100 feet wide.