South Ocean Beach Parking Area and Over-Sand Vehicle Entrance Road Reconfiguration
The project would make the South Ocean Beach recreation area more resilient to natural coastal processes and future storm events, improve safety, and protect and enhance the visitor experience and park resources through visitor use management strategies.
This project is in response to the westward dune movement that is encroaching on the facilities at the South Ocean Beach recreation area. Data collected by NPS suggest that a portion of the existing traffic circle and most of the OSV entrance road will be impacted by natural coastal processes by 2040, making the facilities that provide access to this popular recreation area unsustainable at their current location.
The NPS also plans to address with this project the increasing visitor use at the South Ocean Beach recreation area that is causing congestion and safety concerns and is resulting in resource degradation. Specifically, the South Ocean Beach parking area does not provide sufficient capacity to accommodate visitor use at the recreation area, the existing OSV entrance road cannot support the line of vehicles that will form when the OSV zone reaches the 145-vehicle maximum capacity, and the current configuration of the recreation area presents safety issues, especially when crowded, for pedestrians, drivers, bicyclists, and wildlife.
The NPS is developing conceptual design options to reconfigure the facilities that serve the South Ocean Beach recreation area, including the parking area, OSV entrance road, and other infrastructure and amenities, to manage visitor use more effectively. The project would relocate park infrastructure west of projected 2040 secondary dune areas; reconfigure the parking area to be more efficient and to better support current visitor use of the area; relocate the OSV entrance road to better support current visitor use and reduce pedestrian crossings; upgrade amenities such as showers, changing rooms, and restroom facilities; relocate access to the Life of the Dunes Trail; relocate the existing multi-use path; and develop infrastructure that can be easily modified to accommodate future alternative transportation options, such as shuttle/bus service from the mainland.
For information on the current proposal open for comment starting June 6, 2022, please click on "Open For Comment" on the left navigation bar.
Questions can be submitted to:
Note: This email is provided for questions only. Official comments on the project will not be accepted via email.
The National Park Service (NPS) is requesting public input on a planning process for the reconfiguration of the South Ocean Beach Parking Area and Over-Sand Vehicle (OSV) Entrance Road at Assateague Island National Seashore in Maryland.