Community shares opinion on the reconfiguration of South Ocean Beach


BERLIN, Md. – The National Park Service wrapped up a meeting, where they listened to concerned community members as they shared changes they’ll like to see on Assateague Island.

“Safety is the biggest thing we need to get accomplished here – public safety,” says Bill Justice, a local community member.

That’s one of the many topics that brought community member Bill Justice to a public meeting Tuesday that addressed concerns with the Assateague Island National Seashore. The reconfiguration of the South Ocean Beach parking area and the entrance for oversand vehicles was also a part of the plan.

“This project is to address some issues in the southern part of our developed zone at the park 00.32 we have some congestion we have some safety issues and some conflicts between pedestrians, our off-road vehicle zones users, and our south beach day-use parking users,” says Eric Sherry, Chief of Maintenance for the Assateague Island National Seashore.

Eric Sherry says these changes aren’t possible without hearing from the community.

“Today is really about gathering information from the public, and getting input from the public, we want other their ideas and opinions, we’re still very early in the process so we would like to integrate their ideas as soon as possible,” Sherry tells 47 ABC.

At the event, I asked Bill Justice what he hopes to see moving forward.

“The ultimate goal for me would be to have isolation, in other words, we don’t want to have the traffic going out on the OSV to interfere with the people that park in the parking lot, and try to get to the beach,” says Justice.

For Tuesday’s meeting, the National Park Service drafted three plans that offer alternative solutions to accommodate everyone. Sherry explains exactly what that could look like.

“Make a more logical design and a better flow for the pedestrians to access the south beach area without having to cross as many roads and without having to deal with a very busy intersection…we’re going to move all the hardened infrastructure back to a more sustainable location,” says Sherry.

Though the project is still in its early phase, officials with the park service say the next steps are the construction process. You can share your opinion on their website. Public comment is open until July 5th.

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