Prepare and Initiate Wetland Management Plan & EIS (w/ Resident Goose Mgmt. Strategies)
The Anacostia River was historically flanked with nearly 2,500 acres of tidal marsh. However, in the early 20th century the Army Corps of Engineers was charged with a major "reclamation" effort and contained the river within a stone seawall.
In the 1980s and the National Park Service (NPS) began working with others to restore nearly 100 acres of tidal marsh. The restoration of tidal marshes was hoped to improve the water quality of the Anacostia River, improve native plant and animal diversity, and provide a more natural recreation experience for park visitors along the river.
Over the past decade an increasing number of resident Canada geese have been observed in Anacostia Park. Canada geese are a native migratory species that have always been seasonal visitors to the DC area—stopping temporarily in local waters en route to summer breeding areas to the north or winter ranges to the south. However, the DC area now supports a growing non-migratory population of Canada geese. The abundance of food and the lack of predators in urban areas have allowed resident Canada goose populations to grow rapidly. As a result of the growing resident Canada goose population, the tidal marsh restoration efforts have been jeopardized by browsing resident Canada geese.
NPS initially started an EA to address these concerns. However, after considering comments received during public scoping, initially evaluating potential alternatives, and continuing to examine data, the National Park Service decided to complete an EIS rather than an EA for this plan. Due to the potential for significant impacts associated with some of the alternatives considered in the EA, additional detailed scientific analysis and data collection is needed.
The scope of the EIS will remain the same as the EA. The Park has identified the need to address management tools for resident Canada geese, hydrologic regimes, invasive species, and wetland vegetation planting methods. Additionally, issues such as the effect of urbanization and toxicity will be addressed. Stabilization methods used to address erosion and sedimentation, such as the sheet piling used at Fringe Marsh, will also be examined. The EIS may identify potential future wetland restoration sites, but will not analyze them in detail.
Comments on the DEIS will be accepted through September 26th, 2011. There will be a public meeting at the United States Park Police Anacostia Operations Facility on September 7th, 2011, from 6:30-8:30pm. There will be an open house from 6:30-7:00pm, a short presentation at 7:00pm, and a hearing to take public comments at 7:15pm. If you have any special needs, please call park headquarters at (202) 690-5185.
Supervisory Resource Management Specialist