Pet Restrictions in Effect March 15 through Labor Day
Dogs/other pets (except for service animals) are not allowed in the wilderness or on any of Fire Island's federally owned oceanfront beaches from March 15 through Labor Day to help protect threatened and endangered beach-nesting shorebirds. More »
Backcountry Camping Permit and Access Procedures
Reservations for required permits must be obtained through www.recreation.gov. Due to the breach at Old Inlet, access to both east and west wilderness camping zones must now be from Watch Hill or points west, and involve a 1½ to 8 mile hike. More »
Attention Watch Hill Ferry Passengers
Due to channel conditions, delay or cancellation of ferry service between Patchogue and Watch Hill may occur. For updated ferry schedule information, please call 631-475-1665.
Public Review of Environmental Assessment for Replacement of Watch Hill Well; Comments Due by January 25
Contact: Paula Valentine, Public Affairs, 631-687-4759
Contact: Diane Abell, Park Planner, 631-687-4773
Patchogue, New York— The National Park Service (NPS) announced today that a draft Environmental Assessment (EA) that coincides with plans to replace a Suffolk County Water Authority (SCWA) well on federal land within Fire Island National Seashore is now available for a 15-day period of public review, which will close on January 25. This project replaces an existing well, located near Watch Hill, which was found to be failing. All work is expected to take place over the winter and spring, and be completed before the 2011 visitor season begins in May.
A tentative preferred alternative, 2.2 Well Replacement Scheme 2 with Ground Discharge, has been selected by the National Park Service, pending further analysis. While No Action is the environmentally preferred alternative, complete failure of the existing well will result in a lack of potable water for the Fire Island community of Davis Park and the Seashore development at Watch Hill. Therefore, No Action would have an adverse impact on community and visitor services. The project involves constructing a new well, 10 inches in diameter and 465 feet deep, adjacent to the existing artesian well installed in 1975, which will be properly sealed and abandoned. As with the existing well, the replacement well will be rated at 200 gallons per minute.
All construction and maintenance costs and operation of the well will be borne by the SCWA. The NPS must issue a Utility Right-of-Way permit before any utility project may be undertaken within the boundaries of Fire Island National Seashore. As part of the NPS procedures to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the NPS has various ways in which the public can review the EA.
Printed copies of the document are available for public review at park headquarters in Patchogue. The document is also available for review and comment through the NPS Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) web site. No public meetings have been scheduled.
For more information about this project, contact Diane Abell, Fire Island National Seashore's park planner, at 631-687-4773.
By January 25, 2011, comments on the project should be addressed to Superintendent Chris Soller at Fire Island National Seashore Headquarters, 120 Laurel Street, Patchogue, NY 11772.
(Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment – including your personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time.)
2-page PDF version of this press release
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Did You Know?
In the mid-1970s, Fire Island's deer herd consisted of only about 50 white-tailed deer. By 2005, the number was estimated to be 500-700 deer. More...