2013-08-09 / Community

National Park Service Seeks Public Input

By Katie McFadden


Riis Park, Fort Tilden, Floyd Bennett Field, the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge and other units of the Gateway National Recreation Area will be affected by NPS’s now being drafted General Management Plan. Photo courtesy NPS. Riis Park, Fort Tilden, Floyd Bennett Field, the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge and other units of the Gateway National Recreation Area will be affected by NPS’s now being drafted General Management Plan. Photo courtesy NPS. The National Park Service has big plans for Gateway National Recreation Area, including the Jamaica Bay Unit, and they’re seeking public input. NPS presented a Draft General Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement that is available for public review and comment.

The plan will help park managers focus on what is most important in carrying out a new 20-year-vision for Gateway and the mission of the National Park Service. The Draft GMP/EIS was developed over the course of four years with the help of elected officials, stakeholders, partners and the public.

The Draft GMP/EIS can be downloaded at www.nps.gov/gate/parkmgmt/ planning.htm or can be obtained by calling 718-354-4568. The draft includes plans for areas such as Sandy Hook, New Jersey, Fort Wadsworth in Staten Island and more locally, the Jamaica Bay area.

Plans for the Jamaica Bay Unit include new facilities at Fort Tilden and Bergen Beach including trails, overlooks, viewing blinds, kayak launch sites, outdoor classrooms and campsites to provide more convenient access to natural areas and facilitate the exploration of Gateway’s varied natural environments. New and improved amenities and recreation facilities would allow for recreation such as sports leagues and event spaces. With development of water trails, water skills programming, equipment rentals, and the expansion of beach access, the Jamaica Bay Unit would be established as a popular recreation destination for water-based activities.

New multiple day experiences would also be developed such as camping options and special programs. In addition to expanding its facilities and programs, the NPS would make access to and within the Jamaica Bay area more affordable and convenient through improved bike infrastructure, public transportation, ferry service and park shuttles.

The public is invited to review the draft general management plan and share their input. The comment period started on August 2nd and continues until October 2nd. Comments may be provided electronically on a public comment website at www.parkplanning.nps.gov/projectHome.cfm?projectID=16091 or by attending a public open house which will be held at the Ryan Visitor Center at Floyd Bennett Field on Tuesday, August 20th from 4 to 8 p.m.

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