Great Meadow restoration to continue as planned

National Park Service issues a Finding of No Significant Impact for Great Meadow Restoration Environmental Assessment.

BAR HARBOR, MAINE – The National Park Service issued a decision and a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Great Meadow Restoration Environmental Assessment (EA), which will allow the Great Meadow Restoration project to continue as planned. In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the EA analyzed alternatives and environmental impacts associated with proposed activities to promote ecological resilience and reduce long-term operating and maintenance costs to historic properties in and around the Great Meadow.

Fog rolls over the colorful tree line of the Great Meadow at dawn on Friday, October 7, 2022 in Acadia National Park. (Photo by Sam Mallon/Friends of Acadia)

The NPS accepted public comments for the Great Meadow Restoration Project during scoping from November 11 to December 10, 2022, and during release of the EA from April 24 to May 23, 2023. Based on the analysis presented and the public comments collected, the NPS has chosen to move forward with Alternative B (proposed action and NPS preferred action), which will allow for:

  • Replacing the Park Loop Road culvert at the outflow of the Great Meadow with a larger crossing that has a more natural stream design;
  • Rehabilitating the Great Meadow Loop community connector trails by developing
    missing segments to meet accessibility standards, rerouting them to connect with the Great Meadow vista, improving wayfinding, and adding educational waysides;
  • Implementing targeted restoration projects to return natural function to the 116-acre wetland;
  • Restoring the Cromwell Brook stream channel and constructing a grade control weir at the transition from the Great Meadow to the stream channel to mitigate high flow flood events; and
  • Expanded invasive plant management and restoration with native plantings.

Made possible by an investment from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (Ecosystem Restoration), partner funds contributed by Friends of Acadia’s Wild Acadia initiative, and scientific research from Schoodic Institute, the Great Meadow restoration project highlights the power of partnership. The park is also working closely with the Wabanaki Nations, who have collaborated on wetland restoration work throughout the park.

Acadia National Park is working to finalize construction plans and hopes to move forward with the next phases of the project as soon as possible. The FONSI and NPS responses to comments on the EA and associated documents are available online via the Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website.

Additional Info:

Learn more about the work happening in Great Meadow

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