National Seashore Releases Herring River Restoration Project Statement and Report



WELLFLEET – The Cape Cod National Seashore has released the Herring River Restoration Project Final Environmental Impact Statement and Report (FEIS/FEIR).

The FEIS/FEIR provides an analysis of the environmental effects of alternative approaches to restoring the Herring River estuary.

“It really lays out our plan for the future as to how, using adaptive management, this river can be restored over time,” said Cape Cod National Seashore Superintendent George Price.

Over 100 years of tidal restriction and salt marsh drainage has severely damaged wetland resources and natural ecosystem functions in the Herring River estuary, according to the National Seashore.

The project is expected to restore self-sustaining coastal habitats on a large portion of the 1,100 acre estuary.

That will be done by replacing the existing Chequessett Neck Road Dike and by implementing new flood control and flood mitigation measures.

The measures, according to the National Seashore, will allow for ecological restoration to be achieved, while also protecting adjacent properties from flood damage.

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.

A public forum on the report is being held on Thursday in Wellfleet by the Cape Cod Commission subcommittee and a response will be submitted to state environmental officials by July 8.

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.

“I think the Herring River Restoration Project is very exciting because it really is a legacy project for the future that is within our grasp, and I think that’s something that’s very exciting,” said Price.


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