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Herring Cove Beach North Public Access Site Plan Environmental Assessment

The NPS proposes a plan for management of the deteriorating north parking lot that considers the potential for erosion, sea level rise, coastal flooding during storm events, and long-term sustainability; restores natural systems to the greatest extent possible; and also retains the recreational experience to the greatest extent possible. Herring Cove Beach is of special concern to the residents and visitors of Provincetown, Massachusetts because it is the only remaining Provincetown beach with direct water view parking and car-to-sand access for people of all ages and abilities. A long-term plan is needed to maintain values that have made it a local favorite for decades, ease of access to the beach and expansive views of Cape Cod Bay from the parking lot year-round.

Development of alternatives results from work with the national seashore's Advisory Commission, the Town of Provincetown, and outreach to the general public. The Advisory Commission Subcommittee met four times between December 2012 and May 2013 and recommended a preferred alternative concept to the Advisory Commission, endorsed by the full Advisory Commission and the Provincetown Board of Selectmen, which was ultimately chosen as the NPS preferred alternative.

The NPS prepared the EA to evaluate alternatives for the site plan. Alternative C is entitled One-Time Retreat and is the NPS Preferred Alternative. The NPS would replace the existing north parking lot and revetment with a new asphalt parking lot 125 feet inland from the current parking lot proposed at the 15-foot elevation, one foot above the highest projected base flood elevation. A setback of 125 feet is intended to keep this facility beyond the reach of erosion of the natural beach for a 50-year life span. The sand that has accumulated east of the existing parking lot would be redistributed to provide a low-crested protective berm just to the west of the new parking lot, and recreational access and views to the beach would be preserved.
Comment Period: Closed        09/27/2013 - 11/30/2013
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