Alcatraz Ferry Embarkation Impact Statement

Golden State National Recreation Area, San Francisco

The National Park Service (NPS) needed to improve and expand principal ferry service between the northern San Francisco waterfront and Alcatraz Island. NPS also wanted to establish a special ferry service that would connect the primary embarkation site to other Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) parklands.

Anchor QEA managed the new site identification, evaluation, and design process. The Anchor QEA design team worked closely with NPS regional and GGNRA staff to develop conceptual and schematic architectural, landscape, and marine structural designs for six locations along the northern San Francisco waterfront initially under consideration for the primary embarkation site. The design effort included extensive internal and external scoping processes and estimates of the costs of improvements at all studied locations.

Anchor QEA then prepared the project environmental impact statement (EIS), which included a required technical impact analysis, the management of public involvement efforts, scope meetings, and public hearings. and EIS public comment review. Additionally, this entailed addressing and coding thousands of public comments on the EIS. We also developed the National Historic Preservation Act Section 106 documentation and led the Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), and Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act assessments and consultations. We also worked with the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) to develop and approve the project’s Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) consistency determination.

After the National Environmental Policy Act process was completed, Anchor QEA prepared the Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration with the City and County of San Francisco (on behalf of the Port of San Francisco) as the California Environmental Quality Act lead agency. We also obtained all required state and federal regulatory permits for the in-water construction elements of the project, including permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board, and the BCDC.

Project Impact

To successfully complete this large-scale, multidisciplinary effort, Anchor QEA relied on our extensive landscape and architectural design capabilities; our detailed knowledge not only of local, state, and national regulations and policies but also of marine structural engineering and ferry systems; and our ability to synthesize studies and analyses from a wide variety of disciplines. We also drew on our experience carrying out public involvement processes for highly political Bay Area projects and on our ability to work closely with public agencies to achieve desired results.

The Alcatraz Ferry Embarkation EIS was awarded the American Planning Association Federal Planning Division award for the “Outstanding Collaborative Planning Project.”

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