MARYLAND - The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is giving $10.5 million in Waterway Improvement Fund grants to improve public boating access and navigation throughout the state.
The funding which was passed by the Maryland General Assembly and signed by Governor Larry Hogan will go toward 49 projects in 18 counties from Allegany to Worcester.
Governor Hogan said, "Through this grant program, we are improving the quality of life of our citizens and visitors through the development and enhancement of various water access sites throughout the state, while expanding opportunities for the public to appreciate all that the Chesapeake Bay, coastal bays and their tributaries have to offer. The boating industry supports thousands of jobs in Maryland and contributes billions to our economy."
Funded projects involve the dredging of local navigation channels, preserving public boating access facilities, improving parking and upgrading existing infrastructure such as bulkheads, piers and ramps.
Funding is also being given to local first responders to improve water rescue operations.
Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton says, "From cruising the Chesapeake Bay to maneuvering the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean, boating is a way of life in Maryland," Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton said. "The Waterway Improvement Fund is a vital state resource that ensures that residents and visitors alike will continue to benefit from Maryland's world-class recreational boating opportunities for years to come."
The Waterway Improvement Fund was established in 1966 to support the development, enjoyment and use of Maryland's waters to help the general boating public. It comes from a five percent vessel excise tax on boat purchases and titling.
The counties, project location and project description include:
- Choptank Marina, Preston: Improvements to existing pier, pump-out dock and fuel relocation
- Cambridge Municipal Marina: Marina bathhouse renovations
- Elliott Island Marina, Vienna: Construct stone jetty
- Tar Bay, Church Creek: Dredging Tar Bay – local cost share for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' channel
- Vienna Waterfront Park: Extension of North and South Piers to provide additional slips
- Chestertown Marina: Replace bulkheads and piers at Chestertown Marina
- Turners Creek Public Landing, Kennedyville: Boat ramp improvements including new timber bulkhead, new concrete ramp and parking lot resurfacing
- Kent Island Volunteer Fire Department, Chester: Purchase of fire/rescue boat motors and equipment
- Kent Narrows, Grasonville: Maintenance dredge the north side Kent Narrows, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' channel
- Matapeake Terminal Gas Dock, Stevensville: Replacement of gas dock and fuel system
- Brick Kiln Pier, Crisfield: Removal of pilings at Brick Kiln pier and beach that impede navigation
- Webster's Cove Marina, Princess Anne: Replacement of 190 feet of deteriorating bulkhead at Webster's Cove Harbor
- Back Creek Park, St. Michaels: Construction of waterman's pier, and small boat access, including electric and water connection for facility
- Dogwood Harbor, Tilghman: Maintenance dredging of Dogwood Harbor and the inlet to the harbor
- Townwide – Oxford: Maintenance and repairs to public boating facilities, including installation of floating dock
- Mardela Springs Boat Ramp: Boat ramp improvements
- Riverside Boat Ramp, Salisbury: Replace existing boat ramp
- 64th Street Boat Ramp, Ocean City: Engineering and construction to dredge channel at 64th Street boat ramp
- Public Landing Marina, Snow Hill: Resurface and overlay parking lot
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