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Temporary Changes Around Alcatraz Island During the America's Cup 2013 Races
As the 2013 Challenge and Final race series of the America's Cup approaches, the National Park Service (NPS) is putting into effect some temporary measures which were identified during the development of the federal Environmental Assessment (EA) to protect nesting birds within Golden Gate National Recreation Area. On June 21, 2013, a temporary 500' marine buffer zone was established, closing the area around the perimeter of Alcatraz to all vessels except the passenger ferry run by Alcatraz Cruises, a concessionaire of the National Park Service.
The NPS and United States Coast Guard (USCG), in cooperation with the United States Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and the Presidio Trust (Trust)—collectively referred to as the "federal team"— prepared an EA to analyze the potential effects of the 34th America's Cup (AC34) sailing races and associated events on lands and waters under the jurisdiction of these federal agencies. For more details about that planning process and the Management and Protective Measures put into effect, please visit http://parkplanning.nps.gov/projectHome.cfm?projectId=38234.
This marine buffer zone around Alcatraz , along with an air buffer zone, are being established during this America's Cup race series to insure nesting seabirds are protected along the cliffs of the island. The buffer, extending a total of 500 feet out from the island, will be closed to all vessel traffic. The Crissy Field Wildlife Protection Area also includes a marine buffer zone, 300 feet offshore, which will continue to be closed as usual, to protect snowy plovers.
Buoys will be placed at the 300' boundary off of Crissy Field to ensure clear demarcation. The NPS plans to also place buoys around Alcatraz if possible, but it is the boaters' responsibility to maintain the 500' distance from the island. USCG will work in concert with the NPS to enforce these closures.
The marine buffer around Alcatraz Island will remain in effect from June 21 – September 22, 2013. This closure is necessary to protect the numerous nesting seabird colonies on the island. Disturbances from boat traffic may cause seabirds like Brandt's cormorants to abandon their nests, with dire consequences for their eggs and young chicks.
We appreciate your understanding and cooperation as we work to balance recreational enjoyment in and around the park with the needs of our more sensitive natural resources, especially during these large marine sporting and recreational events.
Park Adventures Ends in Print, More Adventures Begin Online
By Michele Gee, Chief of Interpretation and Education, Golden Gate National Parks
STANDING AMONG THE HISTORIC BATTERIES and forts that overlook the Golden Gate, it can feel like time is standing still. You might feel that not much has changed in the parks' 40 year history-after all, their beauty remains unmatched and undiminished. Then the cell phone of the person next to you goes off, blaring a Justin Bieber song. Another person is taking a photo with her smartphone and updating her Facebook status. No, time has not stood still.
Thank you for visiting our parks. We hope you enjoy your next destination, online or on the trail!
Click here to download the LAST EDITION of Park Adventures: Spring 2013 edition
(March, April, May)
Park Adventures was published four times a year as a visitor service by the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy in cooperation with the Division of Interpretation, Golden Gate National Recreation Area. All correspondence should be directed to:
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