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Wetland Statement of Findings Coquina Intersection Improvements


Cape Hatteras National Seashore (Seashore) is seeking public comments on a Wetland Statement of Findings for a plan to improve N.C. Highway 12 at the intersection of Coquina Beach Access and Bodie Island Lighthouse Road. The deadline to submit comments is Nov. 22, 2021.

The Seashore and the North Carolina Department of Transportation propose to improve highway, visitor and employee safety by constructing longer turning lanes on to each road for both northbound and southbound traffic. The current turn lanes are narrow and short and there are no turn lanes into Coquina Beach Access for northbound vehicles. The highway speed limit and the high volume of traffic and frequency of vehicles turning into these two popular visitor areas dictates a need to safely improve the flow of traffic.

A Wetland Statement of Findings has been prepared to acknowledge 0.134 acres of wetland resources would be affected by the proposed project and to document compliance with the National Park Service's Director's Order 77-1: Wetland Protection and Procedural Manual 77-1: Wetland Protection through avoidance and minimization of impacts and to identify compensatory mitigation actions for unavoidable adverse impacts to these wetland resources.

Executive Order (EO) 11990, "Protection of Wetlands" directs federal agencies: (1) to provide leadership and to take action to minimize the destruction, loss, or degradation of wetlands; (2) to preserve and enhance the natural and beneficial values of wetlands; and (3) to avoid direct or indirect support of new construction in wetlands unless there are no practicable alternatives to such construction and the proposed action includes all practicable measures to minimize harm to wetlands. DO 77-1 and PM 77-1 establish National NPS policies, requirements, and standards for implementing EO 11990. In accordance with these orders and procedures, the NPS adopts a goal of "no net loss of wetlands" and strives to achieve a longer-term goal of net gain of wetlands Servicewide.

Approximately 0.70 acres of phragmites-dominated wetland will be restored as compensatory mitigation to offset the .134 acres loss of wetlands.
 
Comment Period: Closed        Nov 9, 2021 - Nov 22, 2021
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