EARLY NOTICE AND PUBLIC REVIEW OF A PROPOSED ACTIVITY IN A 100-YEAR FLOODPLAIN AND WETLANDS
June 12, 2014:
To: All Interested Agencies, Groups, & Individuals
The Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery (GOSR), operating under the auspices of New York State’s Office of Homes and Community Renewal’s Housing Trust Fund Corporation, is the responsible entity for direct administration of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program. This is to give notice that GOSR, with the assistance of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, is undertaking the decision making process required by Executive Order 11988 in accordance with the HUD regulations at 24 CFR 55.20 (Subpart C – Procedures for Making Determinations on Floodplain Management) to determine the potential effect that the Roberto Clemente State Park Shoreline Stabilization & Park Improvements Project (the “Project”) would have on the 100-year floodplain and littoral zone tidal wetlands located in Bronx County, New York on the eastern shore of the Harlem River. GOSR is considering the submittal of a request to HUD for the release of CDBG-DR funds under Title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 for the Project.
The Project involves proposed improvements to an approximately 16-acre portion of the Roberto Clemente State Park (Park) that would include replacement of the existing sheet pile bulkhead, reconstruction of the adjacent esplanade, creation of a pilot tidal pool and intertidal habitat from uplands as part of the bulkhead replacement, enhancements to the Park’s Lower Plaza area that will reduce hardscape and improve it as a public gathering space, repair of the south stair entrance, regrading and replanting with native plant species on portions of the remaining shoreline that is not stabilized with sheet pile, refurbishment of the existing natural turf baseball field, construction of a new artificial turf baseball field, construction of an artificial turf athletic field, construction of a natural turf soccer field, rehabilitation of the maintenance building and adjacent plaza, and upland placement of clean soil suitable for landscaping to improve the southern pedestrian entrance to the Park from the existing riverfront trail. Proposed bulkhead work would require the placement of backfill material in approximately 3,288 square feet of tidal wetlands. Creation of the tidal pool and intertidal habitat would add approximately 9,000 square feet of wetlands, for a net increase in aquatic habitat of approximately 6,657 square feet.
The purpose of the proposed Project is to improve the Park’s resiliency to future storm events, ensure the stabilization of the shoreline, allow the re-opening of the closed esplanade following bulkhead repairs, improve recreational facilities offered within the Park, enhance the visitor experience along the shoreline of the Harlem River, enhance the habitats present within the Park, and create environmental education opportunities. Because the proposed Project would result in a net increase in the amount of wetlands in the Park and would replace hardscape with permeable natural and artificial surfaces, the Project is expected to enhance the natural and beneficial functions and values of the existing floodplain and wetlands. The Project will affect approximately 16 acres in the 100-year floodplain, and approximately .26 acres of wetlands.
There are three primary purposes for this notice. First, people who may be affected by activities in floodplains and those who have an interest in the protection of the natural environment have an opportunity to express their concerns and provide information about these areas. Second, adequate public notice is an important public education tool. The dissemination of information about floodplains facilitates and enhances federal efforts to reduce the risks associated with the occupancy and modification of these special areas. Third, as a matter of fairness, when the federal government determines it will participate in actions taking place in floodplains, it must inform those who may be put at greater or continued risk.
Written comments should be submitted via email and further information can be requested at NYSCDBG_DR_ER@nyshcr.org. Written comments may also be received by the New York State Homes & Community Renewal (HCR) at the following address: Attention: Thomas J. King, Certifying Officer, NYS Homes and Community Renewal,
99 Washington Avenue Suite 1010, Albany, New York 12231. Comments may be received by telephone at 518-486-7512. All comments must be received on or before 5:00 p.m. on June 27, 2014 or they will not be considered. Information regarding the Project will be available weekdays, except holidays, between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. at the Housing Trust Fund Office at 25 Beaver Street, Fifth Floor, New York, NY 10004, attention Jay C. Juergensen (212-480-2370).
Thomas J. King, Certifying Officer
New York State Homes & Community Renewal