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Contact: Tim Smith, 508-487-3262 ext. 0509
Superintendent George Price is pleased to announce the availability of a joint Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (draft EIS/EIR) for the Herring River Restoration Project in the Towns of Wellfleet and Truro, Massachusetts. This draft EIS/EIR has been prepared to meet the requirements of both the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA). For the purposes of NEPA, the National Park Service is the lead federal agency, in consultation with three cooperating agencies -- the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and United States Fish and Wildlife Service. For MEPA, the Towns of Wellfleet and Truro are the project proponents.
The draft EIS/EIR evaluates alternatives for tidal restoration of large portions of the Herring River flood plain within and adjacent to Cape Cod National Seashore. The draft EIS/EIR assesses the impacts that could result from continuing current management (the no action alternative) or implementing any of three action alternatives.
Three action alternatives have been developed for the restoration of the Herring River. These three alternatives are intended to represent a range of desirable endpoints to be achieved through incremental restoration of tidal exchange and adaptive management. The alternatives are distinguished primarily by the long-term configuration of a new dike and tidal control structure at Chequessett Neck Road and the resulting degree of tidal exchange.
The Herring River flood plain is a large and complex area that has been impacted by more than 150 years of human manipulation, the most substantial being the construction of the Chequessett Neck Road Dike at the mouth of the river in 1909.Just as the current degraded state of the river is the combined effect of many alterations occurring over many years, the draft EIS/EIR describes plans for restoration of the river requiring multiple, combined actions to return it to a more fully functioning natural system.
The review period for this document will begin on October 12, 2012 and end December 12, 2012. During the 60-day comment period, comments will be accepted electronically through the NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment website and in hard copy delivered by the U.S. Postal Service or other mail delivery service or hand-delivered to the address below. Oral statements and written comments will also be accepted during the public meeting on the draft EIS/EIR described below. NEPA comments will not be accepted by fax, email, or in any other way than those specified above. Bulk comments in any format (hard copy or electronic) submitted on behalf of others will not be accepted.
Copies of the draft EIS/EIR will be available for review at the Wellfleet and Truro town libraries. To view an electronic version of the draft EIS/EIR and to comment, or for further information, visit http://parkplanning.nps.gov/cacoor contact:
Cape Cod National Seashore, Herring River Restoration Project, Draft EIS/EIR, 99 Marconi Site Road, Wellfleet, MA 02667.
The seashore and towns will conduct a public meeting on Thursday, November 8, 2012 beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Wellfleet Senior Center/Council on Aging, 715 Old King's Highway, Wellfleet, MA to provide the public with information about the project and the draft EIS/EIR and to hear comments.
This meeting will also serve as a formal public hearing for the Cape Cod Commission, as required by Section 5 of the Cape Cod Commission Act and MEPA regulations.