Gateway announces FONSI — 2/8/2016

Gateway Announces Public Availability of Finding of No Significant Impact for
Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge West Pond Trail Breach Repair

Superintendent Jennifer Nersesian announced today the next step toward completing the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge West Pond Trail Breach Repair: A Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Preferred Alternative has been signed by the NPS Northeast Regional Director and is now available online.

The NPS has selected Alternative B: Repair the Breach and Improve Habitat Conditions, the NPS Preferred Alternative, 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 environmental assessment (EA) as well as the comments received from the public and agencies during the public review period, which concluded 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 also available online at the address above; these changes are itemized in the errata attached to the FONSI.

The purpose of the project is to plan for environmentally sensitive and resilient conditions along the West Pond loop trail that support a diversity of Jamaica Bay habitats, wildlife, and enhanced visitor experiences. 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.