Cape Cod Commission Holding Public Hearing on Herring River Project

COURTESY OF STEVE BROKER Laughing Gulls in Wellfleet's Herring River.

Laughing Gulls in Wellfleet’s Herring River.

WELLFLEET – The Cape Cod Commission is holding a public hearing Thursday night on the Herring River Restoration Project.

The meeting is planned for the Wellfleet Senior Center starting at 5:30 p.m. Officials with the commission are hoping hear from residents about the plan to restore self-sustaining coastal habitats on a large portion of the 1,100 acre estuary.

The meeting comes after the Cape Cod National Seashore recently released the Herring River Restoration Project Final Environmental Impact Statement and Report. The report provides an analysis of the environmental effects of alternative approaches to restoring the Herring River estuary.

Before the project can begin, there is a two-part approval process by the state and federal government.

The $50 million wetlands restoration project in Wellfleet and Truro cannot go forward until the state makes their decision by mid-July.

State Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Matthew Beaton will issue a certificate for the project by July 15, but is expected to include further direction for project leaders on whether they need to file additional information or should proceed.

After the certificate is issued, the Cape Cod Commission will review the project as a development of regional impact.

For the federal government, the Federal Register Notice of Availability (NOI) was posted by the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday and a 30-day No Action Period has begun.

After the period, a Record of Decision may be signed by the Northeast Regional Director of the National Park Service.

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