The City of Homer has a strong commitment to stewarding the environment and the area’s natural beauty.
The City has taken several steps to promote environmental sustainability and support initiatives aimed at protecting and preserving the natural environment around us. The City’s climate action plan, employee sustainability policy guide, and land use plan (which has a clear focus on green infrastructure and integrating environmental standards into all development practices) are just a few examples of the City’s commitment to the environment. In addition, established critical habitat areas in and around Homer help support ecosystem function and biodiversity while preserving natural beauty and functionality for future generations.
Learn more about critical habitat designated areas and other sustainability efforts by following the links below:
- ADF&G Refuges, Sanctuaries, Critical Habitat Areas & Wildlife Ranges
- City of Homer Climate Sustainability
- 2018 Comprehensive Plan
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) helps protect the environmental resources that are foundational to our community by ensuring that federal agencies consider the environmental impacts of their actions and make informed decisions that minimize harm to the environment. NEPA requires that planning for projects, like the Homer Harbor Expansion Study, consider the potential impacts to the social and natural environment. NEPA outlines the following requirements for reaching a project decision that is in the best overall public interest:
- Determine the project’s purpose and need and the range of alternatives to be considered.
- Determine potential environmental impacts.
- Coordinate with relevant agencies.
- Involve the public.
- Determine mitigation for unavoidable impacts.
- Document the analysis and decisions in an environmental document.
The NEPA process will be a core component of the study. The USACE will conduct a preliminary environmental background and baseline review in the beginning of the study. Once the preliminary design alternatives are ready, USACE will evaluate the alternatives in the context of the environmental baseline information to determine potential environmental consequences of the alternatives. From this early assessment, the USACE will determine whether an environmental assessment (EA) or an environmental impact statement (EIS) is required.
You can learn more about NEPA and the environmental process by typing “a citizen’s guide to NEPA” in your favorite search engine.