Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Dyke Marsh Restoration and Long-term Management Plan, George Washington Memorial Parkway, Virginia, 2690-2691 [2014-00633]

Download as PDF 2690 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 10 / Wednesday, January 15, 2014 / Notices Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, please be aware your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. The responsible official for this Draft EIS is the Regional Director, NPS Southeast Region, 100 Alabama Street SW., 1924 Building, Atlanta, Georgia 30303. Dated: January 8, 2014. Stan Austin, Regional Director, Southeast Region. [FR Doc. 2014–00634 Filed 1–14–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–JD–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service [NPS–NCR–GWMP–13704; PX.XGWMP0400.00.1] Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Dyke Marsh Restoration and Long-term Management Plan, George Washington Memorial Parkway, Virginia National Park Service, Interior. Notice of availability. AGENCY: ACTION: The National Park Service (NPS) announces the availability of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Dyke Marsh Restoration and Long-term Management Plan at George Washington Memorial Parkway, Virginia. The DEIS provides a systematic analysis of alternatives for the restoration and long-term management of the tidal freshwater marsh and other associated wetland habitats lost or impacted in Dyke Marsh Preserve on the Potomac River. DATES: The NPS will accept comments on the DEIS from the public for 60 days after the date that the Environmental Protection Agency publishes the notice of availability of the DEIS in its regular Friday Federal Register listing. A public meeting will be held during the review period to facilitate the submission of public comment. Once scheduled, the meeting date will be announced via the George Washington Memorial Parkway Web site (http://www.nps.gov/gwmp/), the NPS’s Planning Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) Web site (http:// wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:04 Jan 14, 2014 Jkt 232001 parkplanning.nps.gov/gwmp), and a press release to area media. ADDRESSES: The DEIS for the Dyke Marsh Restoration and Long-term Management Plan will be available for public review online at the NPS’s PEPC Web site (http://parkplanning.nps.gov/ GWMP). You may submit your comments by any one of several methods. The preferred method of commenting is via the Internet at (http://parkplanning.nps.gov/GWMP). You may also mail comments to Dyke Marsh Restoration Plan, 700 George Washington Memorial Parkway, Turkey Run Park Headquarters, McLean, VA 22101. Or, you may hand-deliver comments to 700 George Washington Memorial Parkway, Turkey Run Park Headquarters, McLean, VA 22101. Written comments will also be accepted at the public meeting. We will not accept comments by fax, email, or in any other way than those specified above. We will not accept bulk comments in any format (hard copy or electronic) submitted on behalf of others. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Alex Romero, Superintendent, 700 George Washington Memorial Parkway, Turkey Run Park Headquarters, McLean, VA 22101; telephone (703) 289–2500. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The purpose of this DEIS is to develop a plan for the restoration and long-term management of the tidal freshwater marsh and other associated wetland habitats lost or impacted in Dyke Marsh Preserve on the Potomac River. Dyke Marsh Preserve is one of the last large tracts of tidal freshwater marsh along the Potomac River in the Washington, DC, area and has existed for at least 2,200 years. Located just south of Alexandria, Virginia, Dyke Marsh Preserve is viewed as a national treasure because of its proximity to the Nation’s Capital and a large urban/suburban population, its history, and its current potential for providing ecosystem services, recreational values and educational opportunities. Despite continual degradation of the existing marsh, it provides numerous natural benefits and services, including resident and PO 00000 Frm 00059 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 migratory wildlife habitat, refuge for state species of concern, attenuation of tidal energy, shoreline stabilization, flood control, and water quality enhancement. The goal of the actions described in the DEIS is to restore areas of Dyke Marsh that were previously impacted by dredging and erosion. The park will reestablish soil elevations to sustain marsh plant communities while preventing damage to vegetation in the existing wetland. In the long-term, the project will provide additional wetlands to the Potomac River watershed ecosystems, preserve the aesthetic and natural values of Dyke Marsh and the George Washington Memorial Parkway, and continue to offer recreational opportunities currently available. Specific objectives of the plan are listed below. Natural Resources. Dyke Marsh Restoration will protect and maintain tidal freshwater wetlands and associated ecosystems to provide habitat for fish, wildlife, and other biota. The park will ensure that management actions promote native species while minimizing invasive nonnative plants. The marsh restoration will reduce or eliminate erosion of the existing marsh and, to the extent practicable, will restore and maintain hydrologic processes needed to sustain the marsh. The restored marsh will protect breeding populations of state species of concern such as least bittern (Ixobrychus exilis), state critically imperiled swamp sparrow (Meloxpiza georgiana ssp. georgiana, G5T5, S1B/ S4S5N), and state imperiled species such as river bulrush (Bolboschoenus fluviatilis, G5S2). Finally, the restoration will increase the resiliency of Dyke Marsh, provide a natural buffer to storms, and help ameliorate flooding in populated residential areas. Cultural Resources. The restoration will protect the historic resources and cultural landscape features associated with Dyke Marsh and the George Washington Memorial Parkway. Visitor Experience will be enhanced through appropriate educational, interpretation, and research opportunities at Dyke Marsh and enhance access by diverse audiences. The DEIS analyzes two action alternatives and the no action alternative, as described below. Alternative A: No Action—Under this alternative, there would be no restoration. Current management of the marsh would continue, which includes providing basic maintenance related to the Haul Road, control of nonnative invasive plant species, ongoing interpretive and environmental E:\FR\FM\15JAN1.SGM 15JAN1 wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 10 / Wednesday, January 15, 2014 / Notices education activities, scientific research projects, boundary marking, and enforcement of existing regulations. There would be no manipulation of the marsh other than emergency, safetyrelated, or limited improvements or maintenance actions. The destabilized marsh would continue to erode at an accelerated rate. Alternative B: Hydrologic Restoration and Minimal Wetland Restoration— Under alternative B, the focus is on the most essential actions to reestablish hydrologic conditions that shield the marsh from erosive currents and protect the Hog Island Gut channel and channel wall. A breakwater structure would be constructed on the south end of the marsh, in alignment with the northernmost extent of the historic promontory, and wetlands would be restored to strategic areas where the water is less than 4 feet deep. This alternative also includes fill of some deep channel areas near the breakwater. The final element of this alternative is the reestablishment of hydrologic connections to the inland side of the Haul Road to restore bottomland swamp forest areas that were cut off when the Haul Road was constructed. Approximately 30 acres west of the Haul Road could be influenced by tidal flows as a result. These actions would not necessarily happen in any particular order, and may be dictated by available funds. However, it is assumed that the breakwater would be constructed first. This alternative would create approximately 70 acres of various new wetland habitats and allow the continued natural accretion of soils and establishment of wetlands given the new hydrologic conditions. Alternative C: Hydrologic Restoration and Fullest Possible Extent of Wetland Restoration (NPS Preferred Alternative)—Under alternative C, the marsh would be restored in a phased approach up to the historic boundary of the marsh and other adjacent areas within NPS jurisdictional boundaries. Phased restoration would continue until a sustainable marsh is achieved and the overall goals of the project are met. The historic boundaries lie between the historic promontory and Dyke Island, the triangular island off the end of the Haul Road. The outer edges of the containment cell structures would be placed at the park boundary in the river. The initial phase of this alternative would first establish a breakwater structure at the southern alignment of the historic promontory to provide immediate protection to Dyke Marsh from erosion. After the breakwater is established, the deep channel areas north of the historic promontory would VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:04 Jan 14, 2014 Jkt 232001 be filled within the NPS boundary, and the marsh would be restored to the 4foot contour at strategic locations to further reduce the risk of erosion and storm surges and promote sedimentation within the existing marsh. Afterwards, two cells would be constructed along the northern edge of the breakwater, restoring the original extent of the promontory’s land mass. All subsequent phases would establish containment cells out no further than the historic marsh boundary. The location of these cells would be prioritized based on the most benefits the specific locations could provide to the existing marsh. The timing of these subsequent phases and the size and number of cells built during these phases would be dependent upon available funds and materials. In addition to the construction of containment cells, tidal guts would be cut into the restored marsh area that would be similar to the historical flow channels of the original marsh. This alternative, like Alternative B, would also introduce breaks in the Haul Road, returning tidal flows to approximately 30 acres west of the Haul Road, which would help to re-establish the historic swamp forest originally found on the site. Additional wetland may be restored south of the new breakwater to fill out the southernmost historic extent of the marsh. This area would not be protected from storms, and would be one of the last features implemented. In addition, the marsh restoration would extend north of Dyke Island, and tidal guts would be created. This alternative contains an optional restoration cell in the area currently serving as a mooring area for the marina. Such an option would only be implemented should the marina concession no longer be economically viable for the current concessioner, and then only if no other concessioner expresses interest in taking over the business, which would eliminate the need for the mooring field. In total, under this alternative, approximately 245 acres of various wetland habitats could be created. Dated: October 21, 2013. Stephen E. Whitesell, Regional Director, National Park Service, National Capital Region. [FR Doc. 2014–00633 Filed 1–14–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–DL–P PO 00000 Frm 00060 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 2691 DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Reclamation [14XR0680A1, RX.00236101.0021000, RR04313000] Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement and Announcement of Public Scoping Meetings for Continued Implementation of the 2008 Operating Agreement for the Rio Grande Project, New Mexico and Texas Bureau of Reclamation, Interior. ACTION: Notice of intent. AGENCY: The Bureau of Reclamation is issuing this notice to advise the public that an environmental impact statement (EIS) will be prepared for the proposed continued implementation of the 2008 Operating Agreement over its entire remaining term (through 2050) for the Rio Grande Project in New Mexico and Texas. The Operating Agreement is a written detailed description of how Reclamation allocates, releases from storage, and delivers Rio Grande Project water to users within the Elephant Butte Irrigation District (EBID) in New Mexico, the El Paso County Water Improvement District No. 1 (EPCWID) in Texas, and to users covered by the 1906 international treaty with Mexico. In addition, this EIS proposes to evaluate the environmental effects of renewing San Juan Chama Project storage contracts under authority of the Act of December 29, 1981, Pub. L. 97–140, 95 Stat. 1717, providing for storage in Elephant Butte Reservoir. DATES: Comments on the scope of the EIS must be received by February 14, 2014. Three public scoping meetings will be held to solicit public input on the scope of the EIS, potential alternatives, and issues to be addressed in the EIS. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for meeting dates. ADDRESSES: Written comments regarding the scope and content of the EIS should be sent to Ms. Rhea Graham, Bureau of Reclamation, Albuquerque Area Office, 555 Broadway NE., Suite 100, Mail Stop ALB–103, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102, or provided via email at rgraham@usbr.gov. Those not desiring to submit comments or suggestions at this time, but who would like to receive a copy of the EIS, should contact Ms. Graham using the information cited above. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for locations of public scoping meetings. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Rhea Graham, Bureau of Reclamation; SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\15JAN1.SGM 15JAN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 10 (Wednesday, January 15, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 2690-2691]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-00633]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service

[NPS-NCR-GWMP-13704; PX.XGWMP0400.00.1]


Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Dyke Marsh 
Restoration and Long-term Management Plan, George Washington Memorial 
Parkway, Virginia

AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The National Park Service (NPS) announces the availability of 
a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Dyke Marsh 
Restoration and Long-term Management Plan at George Washington Memorial 
Parkway, Virginia. The DEIS provides a systematic analysis of 
alternatives for the restoration and long-term management of the tidal 
freshwater marsh and other associated wetland habitats lost or impacted 
in Dyke Marsh Preserve on the Potomac River.

DATES: The NPS will accept comments on the DEIS from the public for 60 
days after the date that the Environmental Protection Agency publishes 
the notice of availability of the DEIS in its regular Friday Federal 
Register listing. A public meeting will be held during the review 
period to facilitate the submission of public comment. Once scheduled, 
the meeting date will be announced via the George Washington Memorial 
Parkway Web site (http://www.nps.gov/gwmp/), the NPS's Planning 
Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) Web site (http://parkplanning.nps.gov/gwmp), and a press release to area media.

ADDRESSES: The DEIS for the Dyke Marsh Restoration and Long-term 
Management Plan will be available for public review online at the NPS's 
PEPC Web site (http://parkplanning.nps.gov/GWMP). You may submit your 
comments by any one of several methods. The preferred method of 
commenting is via the Internet at (http://parkplanning.nps.gov/GWMP). 
You may also mail comments to Dyke Marsh Restoration Plan, 700 George 
Washington Memorial Parkway, Turkey Run Park Headquarters, McLean, VA 
22101. Or, you may hand-deliver comments to 700 George Washington 
Memorial Parkway, Turkey Run Park Headquarters, McLean, VA 22101. 
Written comments will also be accepted at the public meeting. We will 
not accept comments by fax, email, or in any other way than those 
specified above. We will not accept bulk comments in any format (hard 
copy or electronic) submitted on behalf of others. Before including 
your address, phone number, email address, or other personal 
identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your 
entire comment--including your personal identifying information--may be 
made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your 
comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public 
review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Alex Romero, Superintendent, 700 
George Washington Memorial Parkway, Turkey Run Park Headquarters, 
McLean, VA 22101; telephone (703) 289-2500.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The purpose of this DEIS is to develop a 
plan for the restoration and long-term management of the tidal 
freshwater marsh and other associated wetland habitats lost or impacted 
in Dyke Marsh Preserve on the Potomac River.
    Dyke Marsh Preserve is one of the last large tracts of tidal 
freshwater marsh along the Potomac River in the Washington, DC, area 
and has existed for at least 2,200 years.
    Located just south of Alexandria, Virginia, Dyke Marsh Preserve is 
viewed as a national treasure because of its proximity to the Nation's 
Capital and a large urban/suburban population, its history, and its 
current potential for providing ecosystem services, recreational values 
and educational opportunities. Despite continual degradation of the 
existing marsh, it provides numerous natural benefits and services, 
including resident and migratory wildlife habitat, refuge for state 
species of concern, attenuation of tidal energy, shoreline 
stabilization, flood control, and water quality enhancement.
    The goal of the actions described in the DEIS is to restore areas 
of Dyke Marsh that were previously impacted by dredging and erosion. 
The park will re-establish soil elevations to sustain marsh plant 
communities while preventing damage to vegetation in the existing 
wetland. In the long-term, the project will provide additional wetlands 
to the Potomac River watershed ecosystems, preserve the aesthetic and 
natural values of Dyke Marsh and the George Washington Memorial 
Parkway, and continue to offer recreational opportunities currently 
available. Specific objectives of the plan are listed below.
    Natural Resources. Dyke Marsh Restoration will protect and maintain 
tidal freshwater wetlands and associated ecosystems to provide habitat 
for fish, wildlife, and other biota. The park will ensure that 
management actions promote native species while minimizing invasive 
nonnative plants. The marsh restoration will reduce or eliminate 
erosion of the existing marsh and, to the extent practicable, will 
restore and maintain hydrologic processes needed to sustain the marsh. 
The restored marsh will protect breeding populations of state species 
of concern such as least bittern (Ixobrychus exilis), state critically 
imperiled swamp sparrow (Meloxpiza georgiana ssp. georgiana, G5T5, S1B/
S4S5N), and state imperiled species such as river bulrush 
(Bolboschoenus fluviatilis, G5S2). Finally, the restoration will 
increase the resiliency of Dyke Marsh, provide a natural buffer to 
storms, and help ameliorate flooding in populated residential areas.
    Cultural Resources. The restoration will protect the historic 
resources and cultural landscape features associated with Dyke Marsh 
and the George Washington Memorial Parkway.
    Visitor Experience will be enhanced through appropriate 
educational, interpretation, and research opportunities at Dyke Marsh 
and enhance access by diverse audiences.
    The DEIS analyzes two action alternatives and the no action 
alternative, as described below.
    Alternative A: No Action--Under this alternative, there would be no 
restoration. Current management of the marsh would continue, which 
includes providing basic maintenance related to the Haul Road, control 
of nonnative invasive plant species, ongoing interpretive and 
environmental

[[Page 2691]]

education activities, scientific research projects, boundary marking, 
and enforcement of existing regulations. There would be no manipulation 
of the marsh other than emergency, safety-related, or limited 
improvements or maintenance actions. The destabilized marsh would 
continue to erode at an accelerated rate.
    Alternative B: Hydrologic Restoration and Minimal Wetland 
Restoration--Under alternative B, the focus is on the most essential 
actions to reestablish hydrologic conditions that shield the marsh from 
erosive currents and protect the Hog Island Gut channel and channel 
wall. A breakwater structure would be constructed on the south end of 
the marsh, in alignment with the northernmost extent of the historic 
promontory, and wetlands would be restored to strategic areas where the 
water is less than 4 feet deep. This alternative also includes fill of 
some deep channel areas near the breakwater. The final element of this 
alternative is the reestablishment of hydrologic connections to the 
inland side of the Haul Road to restore bottomland swamp forest areas 
that were cut off when the Haul Road was constructed. Approximately 30 
acres west of the Haul Road could be influenced by tidal flows as a 
result. These actions would not necessarily happen in any particular 
order, and may be dictated by available funds. However, it is assumed 
that the breakwater would be constructed first. This alternative would 
create approximately 70 acres of various new wetland habitats and allow 
the continued natural accretion of soils and establishment of wetlands 
given the new hydrologic conditions.
    Alternative C: Hydrologic Restoration and Fullest Possible Extent 
of Wetland Restoration (NPS Preferred Alternative)--Under alternative 
C, the marsh would be restored in a phased approach up to the historic 
boundary of the marsh and other adjacent areas within NPS 
jurisdictional boundaries. Phased restoration would continue until a 
sustainable marsh is achieved and the overall goals of the project are 
met. The historic boundaries lie between the historic promontory and 
Dyke Island, the triangular island off the end of the Haul Road. The 
outer edges of the containment cell structures would be placed at the 
park boundary in the river.
    The initial phase of this alternative would first establish a 
breakwater structure at the southern alignment of the historic 
promontory to provide immediate protection to Dyke Marsh from erosion. 
After the breakwater is established, the deep channel areas north of 
the historic promontory would be filled within the NPS boundary, and 
the marsh would be restored to the 4-foot contour at strategic 
locations to further reduce the risk of erosion and storm surges and 
promote sedimentation within the existing marsh. Afterwards, two cells 
would be constructed along the northern edge of the breakwater, 
restoring the original extent of the promontory's land mass.
    All subsequent phases would establish containment cells out no 
further than the historic marsh boundary. The location of these cells 
would be prioritized based on the most benefits the specific locations 
could provide to the existing marsh. The timing of these subsequent 
phases and the size and number of cells built during these phases would 
be dependent upon available funds and materials.
    In addition to the construction of containment cells, tidal guts 
would be cut into the restored marsh area that would be similar to the 
historical flow channels of the original marsh.
    This alternative, like Alternative B, would also introduce breaks 
in the Haul Road, returning tidal flows to approximately 30 acres west 
of the Haul Road, which would help to re-establish the historic swamp 
forest originally found on the site.
    Additional wetland may be restored south of the new breakwater to 
fill out the southernmost historic extent of the marsh. This area would 
not be protected from storms, and would be one of the last features 
implemented. In addition, the marsh restoration would extend north of 
Dyke Island, and tidal guts would be created. This alternative contains 
an optional restoration cell in the area currently serving as a mooring 
area for the marina. Such an option would only be implemented should 
the marina concession no longer be economically viable for the current 
concessioner, and then only if no other concessioner expresses interest 
in taking over the business, which would eliminate the need for the 
mooring field. In total, under this alternative, approximately 245 
acres of various wetland habitats could be created.

    Dated: October 21, 2013.
Stephen E. Whitesell,
Regional Director, National Park Service, National Capital Region.
[FR Doc. 2014-00633 Filed 1-14-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-DL-P