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Contact: John Harlan Warren, External Affairs Officer, 718-354-4608
The Gateway National Recreation Area Fort Hancock 21st Century Advisory Committee will hold its second meeting Tuesday, March 12, 2013 at the Ocean Place Resort and Spa in Long Branch, N.J. from 9 A.M. to 5:30 P.M. The Committee was established to make recommendations for the reuse of over 30 historic buildings in the Fort Hancock Historic Landmark District within Gateway's Sandy Hook Unit. This meeting, like all meetings of the committee, is open to the public.
"To get to the best answers for preserving Fort Hancock," observed Superintendent Linda Canzanelli, who is the designated federal officer to the committee, "we need to ask the right questions. That's exactly what committee members did at their first meeting. The National Park Service will help in any way possible to provide information so that the committee can come up with its own answers in an open, transparent process."
At this meeting, members will brainstorm and discuss potential frameworks for the preservation of historic buildings at the former Army fort. They will also review and finalize operating procedures and will dig deeper into the current state of Fort Hancock buildings, including dollar estimates for restoring them to good condition. National Park Service staff will discuss the variety of leasing, concession and commercial use authorities available to national parks. Members will begin to develop a committee work plan, including the schedule for future meetings and activities, formation of subcommittees, sequencing of issues and requests for more information.
As with all meetings of the advisory committee, public comments will be taken at a regularly scheduled time. The comment period begins at 4 P.M., with commenters called upon in the order they sign up. Written comments may also be submitted to the committee in person, by mail or email or on the committee's blog at http://www.forthancock21stcentury.org/discuss/.
At the first meeting, held January 23-24, the committee gathered information about the resources of Fort Hancock and how they survived Hurricane Sandy. They also approved a charter to govern their future . A tour of some of the buildings gave members a firsthand glimpse at the former Army structures and the historic landscape.
About the Fort Hancock 21st Century Advisory Committee
The committee was formed in September 2012 under the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (FACA). FACA committees are formed to provide advice to the Executive Branch of government, which includes the National Park Service. The 20 committee members, who applied to serve and were chosen by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, serve without compensation and represent a wide array of local and national leaders in government, business, recreation and real estate as well as experts in natural, scientific and education resources. The committee will meet every four-to-six weeks over a two or three year term and will strive to operate by consensus. Relevant documents, background material, meeting minutes, and other useful information used by the committee can be found on their website at http://forthancock21stcentury.org.
About Gateway National Recreation Area
Established in 1972, Gateway National Recreation Area offers more than 26,000 acres of marshes, wildlife sanctuaries and recreational athletic facilities, miles of sandy beaches; indoor and outdoor classrooms; picnicking and camping areas, as well as historic structures and military installations, airfields, a lighthouse, and adjacent waters around New York harbor. The park offers urban residents in two states a wide range of recreational opportunities year round. With more than eight million visitors a year, it is one of the top five most visited national parks in the country. For information about Gateway's upcoming public programs, see the park's Web site at http://www.nps.gov/gate/index.htm