[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 198 (Friday, October 12, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 62257-62258]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-24888]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service

[NPS-NER-CACO-10593: 2310-0081-422]


Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Herring River 
Restoration Project, Cape Cod National Seashore, Massachusetts

AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of Availability.

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SUMMARY: The National Park Service (NPS) announces the availability of 
a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Herring River 
Restoration Project in Cape Cod National Seashore, Massachusetts. The 
DEIS provides a systematic analysis of alternative approaches to 
restore the Herring River estuary to a more productive and natural 
condition after a century of diking and draining.

DATES: The NPS will accept comments on the DEIS from the public for 60 
days after the date that the Environmental Protection Agency notices 
the 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 Cape Cod National Seashore Web 
site (http://www.nps.gov/caco/), the NPS's Planning Environment and 
Public Comment (PEPC) Web site (http://parkplanning.nps.gov/herring_river), and a press release to area media.

ADDRESSES: The DEIS for the Herring River Restoration Project will be 
available for public review online at the NPS's PEPC Web site (http://parkplanning.nps.gov/herring_river). You may submit your comments by 
any one of several methods. The preferred method of comment is via the 
internet at (http://parkplanning.nps.gov/herring_river). You may also 
mail comments to Herring River Restoration Plan, Cape Cod National 
Seashore, 99 Marconi Site Road, Wellfleet, MA 02667. Finally, you may 
hand-deliver comments to Cape Cod National Seashore, 99 Marconi Site 
Road, Wellfleet, MA 02667.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: George E. Price, Jr., Superintendent, 
Cape Cod National Seashore, 99 Marconi Site Road, Wellfleet, MA 02267; 
telephone (508) 771-2144.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Herring River Restoration Project is a 
joint project of the Cape Cod National Seashore, the Town of Wellfleet, 
and the Town of Truro, Massachusetts Division of Ecological 
Restoration, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration, and the Natural Resource Conservation 
Service.
    The Herring River is the largest estuary on outer Cape Cod, 
encompassing more than 1,100 acres of degraded wetlands in a 
complicated network of five valleys: The Herring River, Mill Creek, 
Pole Dike Creek, Bound Brook, and Duck Harbor. The Chequessett Neck 
Road dike was built in 1908 at the mouth of the Herring River to 
restrict natural tidal flows. Ditches were constructed to drain the 
normally saturated flood plain soil. The once extensive salt marshes 
have been transformed into stands of invasive plants, shrubby thickets, 
and forests. The old salt marsh peat, deprived of the tides, has 
decomposed and compressed, sinking the surface of the flood plain as 
much as three feet. The decomposition of peat has released sulfuric 
acid that kills fish and other aquatic life, and low summertime 
dissolved oxygen has also harmed aquatic life.
    The DEIS analyzes three action alternatives and the no action

[[Page 62258]]

alternative, as described below: Alternative A would leave in place the 
current tide control structure at Chequessett Neck Road and continue 
management of the estuary without restoration.
    Alternative B would employ an adaptive management strategy to 
restore tides in the lower reach of the Herring River up to a maximum 
high tide of approximately six feet. At this tide level flood 
mitigation of sensitive properties can be achieved without a secondary 
dike at Mill Creek.
    Alternative C would employ an adaptive management strategy to 
restore tides up to the maximum Chequessett Neck Road dike capacity (10 
foot vertical tide gate opening) with a new dike at Mill Creek that 
blocks all tidal influence. This alternative would maximize restoration 
in all sub-basins except Mill Creek. Mill Creek would remain 
unrestored, but no new flood proofing measures would be needed in Mill 
Creek.
    Alternative D would employ an adaptive management strategy to 
restore tides up to the maximum Chequessett Neck Road dike capacity (10 
foot vertical tide gate opening) with a new dike at Mill Creek. Mill 
Creek tides would be controlled by this secondary structure to the same 
level as that of Alternative B, the maximum level that can be achieved 
after flood proofing several low-lying properties. Tidal restoration 
would be maximized in all other sub-basins.
    For Alternatives B and D, two options are considered for mitigating 
project impacts to the Chequessett Yacht & Country Club (CYCC) golf 
course, a private golf course in Mill Creek: (1) Raise low-lying 
fairways a minimum of two feet above proposed inundation levels, or (2) 
relocate low-lying fairways to an undeveloped upland area owned by 
CYCC.
    Alternative D, with the option to raise existing low-lying fairways 
a minimum of two feet above proposed inundation levels, has been 
identified as the NPS Preferred Alternative. This alternative best 
fulfills the restoration objectives of the project while mitigating 
adverse impacts to developed properties.
    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.

    Dated: August 8, 2012.
Michael A. Caldwell,
Acting Regional Director, National Park Service, Northeast Region.
[FR Doc. 2012-24888 Filed 10-11-12; 8:45 am]
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