National Park Service Issues Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for Desert Shield and Desert Storm Memorial Environmental Assessment

The National Park Service (NPS) announces the availability of the Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Desert Shield and Desert Storm Memorial Environmental Assessment (EA). Based on the analysis presented in the EA, the NPS selected Alternative B: Establishing the Memorial (the NPS Preferred Alternative) for implementation.

The National Desert Storm and Desert Shield Memorial (NDSDS) will honor the members of the Armed Forces who served in support of Operation Desert Storm and Operation Desert Shield. Under the selected alternative, the NPS will work the National Desert Storm War Memorial Association (Association) to establish the new NDSDS Memorial, as authorized in P.L. 113-291, at the southwest intersection of Constitution Avenue and 23rd Street. The approximately one-acre memorial employs a landscape-based approach, using sloped berms to enclose a memorial featuring two curving sculptural walls. The interior enclosure provided by the walls will contain a central commemorative element, vegetated berms, and seating.

The proposed project will also include accessible entrances along both Constitution Avenue and 23rd Street, new lighting, replacement of approximately four street trees along Constitution Avenue and 23rd Street, and alteration of topography to incorporate flood control systems. The proposed memorial will remove approximately five trees outside the allées and approximately 15,250 square feet of turf. The memorial will also replace the existing noncontributing delineated ball field and backstop with turf open space. The southwest portion of the site will accommodate informal ball games through the placement of the memorial in the northeast corner of the site.
Outside the new memorial, but within the project site, one additional tree along 23rd Street and nine trees along Lincoln Circle will be planted, consistent with the implemented historic planting plan for the grass panel associated with the Lincoln Circle.

In February, National Mall and Memorial Parks issued an EA evaluating the feasibility and potential impacts of the proposed memorial. The EA was available for public review and comment from February 7 to March 8, 2022. The NPS signed a FONSI on Nov. 28. The FONSI describes why the selected plan will have no significant effects on the environment, provides the rationale for the decision and outlines conservation measures that will be taken to avoid, minimize and mitigate impacts.
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