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Gulf Coast Site Plan and Maintenance Dredging

Everglades National Park » Gulf Coast Site Plan and Maintenance Dredging » Document List

The National Park Service (NPS) is pleased to announce the issuance of a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the January 2023 Gulf Coast Site Plan and Maintenance Dredging Environmental Assessment (EA). The FONSI was recommended by Everglades National Park Superintendent Pedro Ramos on August 1, 2023 and approved by Regional Director Mark Foust on August 24, 2023. Copies of the EA and FONSI may be accessed by clicking on the "Document List" link at the left side of this page.

Based on the analysis presented in the EA, the NPS selected Alternative B for implementation. The selected alternative was defined in the EA as the NPS preferred alternative. Under Alternative B, the entire Gulf Coast site will be redeveloped. A new visitor center, sidewalks, plazas with green space and gathering areas will be built. The visitor center will be designed and constructed to withstand 175 mile per hour (mph) winds and a 15-foot storm surge. A new building will be constructed near the canoe/kayak launch for concessioner use and NPS storage. The new visitor center and surrounding plazas, gathering areas, concessions building, and main parking lot will be raised 2.3 to 5.4 feet NAVD (North American Vertical Datum of 1988 ) above current grade to mitigate tidal impacts, storm events and seasonal flooding. The elevation of the site will be supported through a new retaining wall seaward of the site. Where new bulkheads are not replaced, a living shoreline will be constructed in the southeastern area of the site consisting of red and black mangroves.

A parking lot with delineated parking spaces will be installed at the current, existing grassy overflow parking area for the canoe/kayakers to park vehicles; this parking lot will be surfaced with gravel to help minimize flooding. A new entrance road to the visitor center will be constructed to improve traffic and pedestrian flow. The existing paved parking, roads, sidewalks, and waterfront areas will be elevated to 2.3 feet NAVD. Hardscape elements such as seat boulders, stone benches, shade structures, picnic tables, bicycle racks, and an outdoor shower near the canoe/kayak launch will be installed. Native landscaping will be planted throughout the site. New drainage consisting of a series of shallow, dry retention ponds will be located adjacent to the parking lots and access driveways. All of the utilities on site will be replaced and brought up to code.

A new administrative boat ramp and canoe/kayak launch will be re-constructed to enhance visitor access to the water. The marina basin and entrance will be expanded to improve maneuverability for vessels. New bulkheads will be constructed and raised by 5.4 feet NAVD. The marina boat basin and boat channels will be dredged to -7.7 feet NAVD to support the combined administrative boat ramp and canoe/kayak launch. Continued maintenance dredging will be scheduled every 6-10 years, as needed, to ensure safe navigation of vessels into and out of the marina. The dock facilities will be replaced and improved with new aluminum boat lifts, and cleats and fender piles will be installed. The existing fuel facility will be removed and relocated northeast of the overflow parking area to minimize flooding hazards, and a new dispensing station will be installed at the marina.

Contact Information

Daniel Noon, Chief of Planning and Compliance