Navy Completes Environmental Assessment for Operations at the Bloodsworth Island Range

NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER, Md. — The Navy recently completed the “Environmental Assessment for Operations at the Bloodsworth Island Range.”

The Navy issued a “Finding of No Significant Impact” on Feb. 2 for the no-action alternative, and will continue to uphold the 1996 self-imposed moratorium on dropping live or inert ordnance at the Bloodsworth Island Range.

“We started this analysis in October 2004 to evaluate any environmental impacts that could occur from a broad scope of conceivable operations,” said Captain Zachary Henry, the commanding officer of the Naval Air Station Patuxent River.

Three alternatives for operations and training events at the range were analyzed for potential environmental effects as related to: land use and coastal zone management; range operations/safety; open space and recreation; socioeconomics; topography, geology, and soils; water and sediment quality; vegetation and wetlands; wildlife and fisheries; threatened and endangered species; cultural resources; noise; air quality; hazardous waste management; and transportation.

Navy requirements and priorities have shifted since this effort began, and were taken into consideration as the assessment was finalized. Based upon current requirements, the Navy chose the no-action alternative, which results in no significant impacts to the environment within the Bloodsworth Island Range.

The National Environmental Policy Act requires federal agencies to prepare an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement for major federal actions. This law requires these documents to evaluate a no-action alternative for the proposed action.

“The Navy is committed to responsible environmental stewardship, and at Patuxent River we’re widely recognized for our conservation efforts for waterfowl and wildlife, as well as numerous habitat improvement projects,” said Henry. “Our award-winning environmental stewardship efforts will continue to include the Bloodsworth range.”

The Bloodsworth Island Range has been an active Navy range since the early 1940s. Located in the Chesapeake Bay, this range lies within the boundaries of Naval Air Systems Command’s Atlantic Test Range Facility. The naval air station has been home to naval aviation research, development, test and evaluation and training for aircraft and aircrew, avionics and mission systems for over half a century.

The final environmental assessment is available for download in Adobe Acrobat PDF format (3.25 MB).  A hardcopy is also available for review at the following libraries in communities surrounding the range:

Somerset County Libraries
Ewell Branch
Ewell School
20910 Caleb Jones Rd.
Ewell, Md. 21824

Princess Anne Branch
11767 Beechwood St.
Princess Anne, Md. 21853

Corbin Memorial Branch
4 East Main St.
Crisfield, Md. 21817

Dorchester County Central Library
303 Gay St.
Cambridge, Md. 21613

Wicomico Public Library
122 S. Division St.
Salisbury, Md. 21801

St. Mary’s County Library
Lexington Park Branch
21677 FDR Blvd.
Lexington Park, Md. 20653

For additional information contact:

Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division Public Affairs
Kelly Burdick
Bldg. 409 Room 204
22268 Cedar Point Road
Patuxent River, MD 20670

Karen Carow
Bldg. 409 Room 204
22268 Cedar Point Road
Patuxent River, MD 20670

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