SANDY Repair JABA Wildlife Refuge West Pond Trail Breach
The National Park Service (NPS) in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration - Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division (EFLHD), prepared an environmental assessment (EA) in support of a proposed project to address damage that resulted from a breach that occurred at the West Pond of the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge during Hurricane Sandy. During the development of this environmental assessment, park staff, along with our neighbors, visitors, and interested agencies and organizations, examined project objectives, issues, existing conditions, and impacts associated with a range of management concepts for West Pond. A Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) is now available for the alternative selected for implementation.
The park has selected Alternative B: Repair the Breach and Improve Habitat Conditions for implementation, which includes repairing the embankment at the breach and installing a water control structure and a groundwater well. The FONSI explains why this action will have no significant effects on the human environment, based on the analysis in the EA as well as the comments received from the public and agencies during the public review period, which occurred October 6 through November 6, 2015. One small design refinement to the planned breach repair was made since the issuance of the EA and is described in the FONSI, but the impacts to the environment will be the same or fewer than those described in the EA. An updated version of the EA with very minor changes, including a more descriptive title and the design refinement, is available in the document list at left; these changes are also itemized in the errata attached to the FONSI.
The purpose of the proposed project is to provide for environmentally sensitive and resilient conditions along the West Pond Trail area that support a diversity of Jamaica Bay habitats and wildlife. Repairing the primary breach in West Pond and installing a freshwater source through a groundwater well will allow the NPS to return West Pond to more freshwater conditions and provide a diversity of habitats for wildlife, unusual in an urban area.
Established in 1972, Gateway National Recreation Area offers more than 26,000 acres of marshes, wildlife sanctuaries and recreational athletic facilities, miles of sandy beaches; indoor and outdoor classrooms; picnicking and camping areas, as well as historic structures and military installations, airfields, a lighthouse, and adjacent waters around New York harbor. The park offers urban residents in two states a wide range of recreational opportunities year round. Gateway is one of the ten most visited national parks in the country.
Gateway National Recreation Area
ATTN: West Pond Environmetnal Assessment
210 New York Avenue
Staten Island, NJ 10305