The National Park Service (NPS) is proposing to develop the Mongaup Interpretive Center, located within a 59-acre site, approximately 7 miles northwest of Port Jervis, on the north side of the Delaware River, just east of its confluence with the Mongaup River. The site is part of the 12,000-acre Mongaup Valley Wildlife Management Unit, owned by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation; its use has been set forth in the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which was developed with the assistance of the Conference of Upper Delaware Townships (COUP) and the Delaware River Commission. The site will be leased to NPS by DEC.
The Mongaup Interpretive Center building is not to exceed 10,000 sq. ft. in size. The center will serve at this park's primary visitor contact facility and operational base from which to offer year-round educational programs on the region's natural and cultural history through exhibits, audiovisual presentations, a self-guiding interpretive trail and ranger conducted programs. A primary benefit to both visitors and valley residents alike is the opportunity this facility will afford the National Park Service to emphasize critical information regarding private property issues and safety rules of the river, before visitors travel further into the river corridor. Dominant resources include the river and significant historical artifacts of the Delaware and Hudson Canal system. In addition to exhibit and visitor 'comfort' areas, the facility is planned to include classroom(s) for local school program use and meeting space. The structure, supportive site facilities and the site plan are to be a model of environmental/sustainable design for other such visitor facilities.
The process of designing the facility includes an Environmental Assessment (EA) to evaluate: the suitability of the property for the proposed action; the associated potential impacts of developing the site in a range of alternative design approaches, as proposed; the means by which those impacts can be mitigated to the maximum extent practicable. The EA process provides the public with a presentation of the factors involved in the decision making by the National Park at the Upper Delaware Scenic & Recreational River.