Public Scoping - Rehabilitate Tidal Basin and West Potomac Park Seawalls Environmental Assessment
The National Park Service (NPS) is seeking public comments on an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the proposed rehabilitation of portions of the Tidal Basin and the entire West Potomac Park seawalls. This 30-day public scoping effort is the first step in the EA process the NPS is conducting in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA). The purpose of the public scoping comment period is to provide interested parties with an opportunity to comment on the seawall rehabilitation concept. The proposed action includes 6,800 linear feet of seawall that is administered by the NPS through the National Mall and Memorial Parks (Park) and located in the District of Columbia.
In the years since their construction, the seawalls have significantly settled and been compromised, leading to overtopping of the seawalls in some sections twice a day during normal tidal conditions and the water does not dissipate in a timely manner due to poor drainage. This has led to reduced public access, damage to the cultural landscape and park infrastructure, resulting in negative impacts to visitor use and experience. This area experiences large numbers of visitors every day of the year with peak visitation during the spring with the blooming of the Cherry Blossoms. The current condition affects visitor use, experience and safety since the pedestrian trails in many areas have degraded creating trip and fall hazards and are inaccessible due to standing water, mud and debris left behind from daily flooding.
The NPS proposes to rebuild and elevate the seawalls to re-establish the historic functional height of the walls in such a way as to provide for a sustainable solution that expands the lifecycle of the seawalls and future extensions of the wall to respond to changing climate patterns, including storms of greater intensity and frequency. The proposed action would help keep these areas from flooding during normal tidal events, minor flood stage events, and would help prevent continued loss of material. The existing masonry seawall would be stabilized and raised along the historic alignment. The stone from the historic wall would be salvaged and reused in construction of the higher walls. The existing sidewalk on top of the seawall along the Tidal Basin will be replaced. Finally, the existing landscaping adjacent to each of the seawall systems would be rehabilitated. Repairs to the surrounding infrastructure may include grading, stormwater control, pedestrian/multi-use paths improvements, curbing, and replacement in-kind of any construction damage to the landscape and trees.
How to Participate
The public is invited to identify any issues or concerns they might have with the project so that the NPS can appropriately consider them in the preparation of the EA.
A virtual public scoping meeting will be held from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on July 19, 2022.
Join via Microsoft Teams - https://teams.microsoft.com/l/meetup-join/19%3ameeting_NGI1NWRhNmMtMWM5MC00YmQ4LWE4NGMtZTYwMDgxMGYwMzgy%40thread.v2/0?context=%7b%22Tid%22%3a%220693b5ba-4b18-4d7b-9341-f32f400a5494%22%2c%22Oid%22%3a%220a5e74c3-26d9-4282-8ef6-6d9112be2457%22%7d
Join via Phone - 202-640-1187 meeting Id 441321767#
The scoping meeting will be recorded and the recording will be accessible at the project website after the meeting.
How to Comment
The public is encouraged to provide written comments. The comment period will begin July 19, 2022 and closes September 12, 2022 or submitted via U.S. Mail postmarked by September 12, 2022 to be considered in the analyses to be conducted for the EA.
Mailed comments must be sent to the following address:
Attn: Rehabilitate Tidal Basin and West Potomac Park Seawalls EA
National Park Service
National Mall and Memorial Parks
900 Ohio Dr. SW
Washington, DC 20024
Jul 19, 2022 - Sep 12, 2022