Q: What's wrong with letting Georgetown University build a boathouse for its rowing team?
A: The Defenders of Potomac River Parkland are NOT against a new boathouse for GU -- but we DO oppose building an intrusive private facility within the C&O Canal National Historical Park
Q: What is the C&O Canal National Historical Park?
A: Established by Congress, the C&O Canal National Historical Park preserves the historic Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, which runs between Georgetown and Cumberland, Md., as well as the canal's scenic and natural environment. It is among the most popular of all national parks, and is treasured by local residents and by visitors from all over the country.
Q: Where is Georgetown University's preferred site for the proposed boathouse?
A: GU wishes to place an extremely large boathouse in a wooded area of shoreline that is just upriver from the historic Washington Canoe Club. The site is in a narrow section of the C&O Canal National Historical Park that is the gateway to the Capital Crescent Trail and to the natural areas of the canal towpath. This was designated the preferred site in a never-completed Environmental Assessment. A subsequent Environmental Impact Statement process is now on hold.
Q: What's wrong with the preferred site?
A: If approved, the massive building would block views of the river, disrupt the trails, destroy trees and natural habitat, compromise historic values, and set a precedent for private development in other areas of a park that should be open to enjoyment by everyone.
Q: What's the current status of this issue?
A: The National Park Service has published a feasibility study to implement a non-motorized boathouse zone along the Georgetown waterfront. The feasibility study examines what boating-related structures and facilities can be accomodated within the zone, which includes important sections of the C&O Canal National Historical Park. The study presents scenarios for enhancing waterfront boating access. It deserves thoughtful comments, keeping in mind the importance of protecting the canal park from intrusive private development.
Q: What can I do to prevent intrusion on the C&O Canal National Historical Park?
A: Be prepared to voice support for protecting the C&O Canal NHP through written comments on the Feasibility Study during the public comment period that ends on 11:59 p.m., Mountain Time, on Friday, May 24, 2013. Explain the importance of protecting the National Historical Park by sending a letter to media and officials. (See Take Action.)
Q: How can I find out more about this issue?
A: Explore this website for: news and updates; maps and images, including possible boathouse sites outside of the C&O Canal NHP; background information on earlier phases of the boathouse controversy, including letters by members of the Defenders of Potomac River Parkland.