Identification of sources of impact and assessment of concerns
The analysis of anticipated impacts on natural resources has brought out several concerns in connection with vegetation and wildlife.
Among the potential sources of negative impact on the locations of rare or endangered plant species are: the restoration of buildings located close to the shoreline, projected realignment of the landing strip, enhancement of landscapes, and self-guided tours. Plantlife on the island itself could be harmed by the restoration of buildings, the enhancement of landscapes, the presentation of cultural resources and archaeological vestiges, the development of trails, and self-guided tours. Realignment of the landing strip is the project presenting the greatest source of potential impact not only on vegetation but also on other biophysical components such as soil and drainage. In addition, the restoration of a number of buildings may significantly disturb the island’s bat colonies.
All the same, the anticipated impacts on cultural resources are by and large a greater cause for concern; at the same time, however, they offer greater opportunity for mitigation. Group tours of heritage buildings could cause damage to, and accelerate wear of certain building components and collection pieces if the visit capacity in these buildings is exceeded. In terms of cultural heritage, the set-up of the public transportation system is also a cause for concern on account of the problems of parking, noise, dust, etc., all of which detract from the appreciation of cultural resources.
It is critical to base any planning projections on ethno-historical and archaeological surveys and other studies that serve to develop continuity between the previously fashioned cultural landscape – starting in the 18th century and, more specifically, occurring since 1832 – and the current development process. The period occurring between these two points was witness to a decline in all cultural resources, including the cultural landscape. Planning projections should necessarily involve protecting and reestablishing the features with which the spirit of the place has been identified and renewing the dialogue between built heritage and its specific landscape setting.
Summary of the environmental assessment
Conformity with strategic directions
Identification of impact sources and assessment of concerns