Let It Run: Arlington Boathouse Crosses Milestone

Published on June 18, 2019

Plans to establish a community boathouse on the Potomac River in Arlington just passed a major milestone. The National Park Service completed its Environmental Assessment (EA) with a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), which sets up the project to move forward. 

The report enables the preferred site — on the George Washington Parkway shoreline adjacent to Theodore Roosevelt Island — to host a boat launch and storage facility, with a complementary facility providing changing and exercise rooms located on County-owned property abutting Rosslyn Circle.  

"We are pleased to see this long-planned project pass such an important milestone," said Jane Rudolph, director of the Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation. "We look forward to continuing to work with our community partners to establish this resource to benefit all Arlingtonians." 

The Rosslyn location is consistent with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) guidelines and National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), as well as NPS policies and mandates. In 2018, NPS collected public input on the EA through a community meeting in Arlington and online comment period.  

A public boathouse has been under discussion in Arlington for more than two decades, with business groups and community members actively pursuing a home for scholastic rowing programs, local rowing and paddling organizations, and other non-motorized community uses.  

It has been a longtime goal of the County to increase access to the Potomac River, with a boathouse facility appearing in the County's Public Spaces Master Plan, as well as the Rosslyn sector plan, Realize RosslynAs the project moves forward, there will be additional opportunities for public input. 

The facility is also included in the FY 2019-2028 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), which was adopted by the Arlington County Board in July 2018. The CIP plans the development of the management model and long-term use arrangement in FY 2022, and final design of the facilities in FY 2026. Construction funding is not included in the current 10-year CIP.