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Seashore Passenger Ferry Departure Site Environmental Assessment / Assessment of Effect

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Acting Superintendent Mike Tranel announced that Cape Lookout National Seashore will hold a public meeting to present the draft Passenger Ferry Departure Site Environmental Assessment / Assessment of Effect (EA/AoE). This document presents the preferred alternative for a departure site for ferry service primarily to Shackleford Banks and also to the Cape Lookout Lighthouse area of South Core Banks, North Carolina.

The public meeting will be held on March 8, 2011, from 7:00 PM until 9:00 PM at the Duke University Marine Lab Auditorium on Pivers Island. The public is invited to comment on the EA/AoE from March 1 until March 31, 2011.

The Passenger Ferry Departure Site EA/AoE is an outcome of the public meetings that were held on August 26, 2009,and the Ferry Departure Site Feasibility Study that was completed since that time.

The feasibility study examined site considerations and potential sites for a passenger ferry operations base in the Morehead City or Beaufort area. The study examined 8 potential sites, site characteristics and requirements, including accessibility issues and opportunities for partnering with the Towns of Beaufort and Morehead City. As a result of the study, two sites, one on 10th Street in Morehead City and another on Front Street in Beaufort, were carried forward for evaluation in the draft Passenger Ferry Departure Site EA/AoE.

The draft Passenger Ferry Departure Site EA/AoE is available at the Carteret County Public Library and online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/CALO; please follow the appropriate links to "Passenger Ferry Departure Site Study."

Based on the study and the EA/AoE, the National Park Service determined that both of the sites met the purpose, needs and objectives as identified by the EA/AoE to a large degree. Alternative B, the Beaufort Front Street site, was identified as the preferred alternative.

"We very much appreciate the careful consideration and significant help that staff from the Town of Morehead City and the Town of Beaufort provided in this process," noted Acting Superintendent Mike Tranel; "both towns made excellent proposals."

The meeting will be held in an "open house" format. The public is invited to visit at any point during the scheduled time to review materials and to talk with National Park Service staff.

Comments can be provided in writing at the meeting, by mail or on-line.

Please note:
Before including an address, phone number, email 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. While you may ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

Comments by mail may be sent to:
Superintendent
Attn: Ferry Departure Site EA/AoE
Cape Lookout National Seashore
131 Charles Street
Harkers Island, NC 28531

Comments may be made on-line at the NPS Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) website at: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/CALO. Please follow the appropriate links to "Passenger Ferry Departure Site Study."

Comments are requested by March 31, 2011. Once the comment period concludes, all comments submitted will be considered and the National Park Service will make a decision about the proposed action.