NPS PUBLISHES ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT
ON THE GEORGETOWN BOATHOUSE ZONE
On July 28, 2016, the National Park Service issued the announcement quoted below:
"The National Park Service (NPS) is making available for public review and comment an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Georgetown Nonmotorized Boathouse Zone Development Plan and Environmental Assessment. This EA evaluates feasible alternatives to evaluate the impacts of the development of a plan for nonmotorized boating facilities and related park improvements along the District of Columbia side of the Potomac River in the Georgetown area. . . .
The plan/EA analyzes one action alternative and one no-action alternative. Under the no action alternative, no development within the nonmotorized boathouse zone would occur. The action alternative includes proposed changes that respect the historic character, natural resources and existing recreational uses of Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park and Rock Creek Park while providing improvements to the waterfront.
For the action alternative, the nonmotorized boathouse zone is divided into five site (Sites A - E). East of the Potomac Aqueduct Bridge abutment, upstream of Key Bridge, the action alternative includes optional configurations for a boathouse and plaza on site D, a proposed reconfiguration of the streetscape to improve the connections of the CCT and Georgetown Waterfront Park, and access to the private properties in the zone. The action alternative also offers options for sites A and C west of the aqueduct. . . . "
The EA is available for review at the link below, and public comments will be accepted through September 30.
Above is shown a section of the Capital Crescent Trail near Site A, an area upriver from Site B, the historic Washington Canoe Club building.
Below is part of the shoreline at Site C which lies between the Washington Canoe Club and the remains of the stone Alexandria Aqueduct Bridge.
Sites A, B, and C are within the C&O Canal National Historical Park. Sites D and E are downriver and not part of the C&OCNHP.
The map below is a detail from Figure 3 on page 14 of the EA (see our Images and Maps page for the complete Figure 3). The detail shows action proposals for the section of the zone that lies within the C&O Canal National Historical Park. Dotted lines indicate the maximum area for optional projects at Sites A and C.
Publication of the current EA is a key step in a process, lasting more than a decade, during which the Defenders coalition has worked to protect the C&O Canal National Historical Park from intrusive and inappropriate development. The EA deserves careful study and thoughtful comment. Background information on earlier phases of this process is available on this Defenders website.