Assateague Island Plans to Relocate Bayside Picnic Parking Area - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Assateague Island Plans to Relocate Bayside Picnic Parking Area

BERLIN, Md.- Assateague Island National Seashore is planning for a more resilient bayside picnic and parking area and park rangers are asking  the public to help the park define both the natural and cultural values and characteristics important for protection of this popular area. 

The National Seashore will host its third public workshop on this topic at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 7, in the park’s Environmental Education Center.

Superintendent Deborah Darden believes the workshops are the first step in the development of a new environmental assessment to plan a more sustainable location for the facility.

“We really want to work with the public to understand what they value about bayside peninsula,” noted Darden.  “We hope the public will tell us what they feel would make a great location for a new Bayside Picnic Parking Area.”

The new plan, the Bayside Picnic Parking Area Relocation Environmental Assessment, will look at a broad range of alternatives.

“Nothing is off the table,” Darden said. “We’d like to hear as many ideas as we can for making this important park day-use area more functional and less susceptible to damage from erosion while safeguarding bird and animal habitat.”

The environmental assessment will look at the area’s natural and cultural resources to be sure that they are protected as a part of the study.

“We will be asking the public to share their knowledge about this special area with us as a part of the workshop,” noted Chief of Resources Management Bill Hulslander.  “We will gather information from the public, non-profit organizations, and other federal and state agencies to ensure that we understand fully what they value about this popular and important area of the park.”

Previously, NPS had looked at two alternatives for the area in the Bayside Picnic and South Ocean Beach Parking Areas Removal and Relocation Environmental Assessment in 2013.  At the end of that process, in March 2014, NPS announced that it would repair the current Bayside Picnic and Parking Area in its current location, substituting a clay base and clamshell surface so that in the future storms asphalt is not washed into the bay. 

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