From a new boat ramp in Somerset County to citywide harbor upgrades in Annapolis, 59 public water access projects in 19 Maryland counties will receive a total of $6 million in state Waterway Improvement Fund grants for fiscal year 2016.
This total, the largest amount Maryland has received since 2009, includes $2.2 million for dredging projects in six counties to help keep waterways open for recreation and commerce.
“What we’re hearing from county representatives and boating groups is an increased need for dredging, so that’s what we focused on,” said Mark O’Malley, director of DNR Boating Services. “These projects will expand Maryland’s waterways for both recreational and commercial boaters, as well as improve access facilities so that boaters can better enjoy these waters.”
Passed by the Maryland General Assembly and signed by Governor Larry Hogan, the projects include: dredging local navigation channels; developing and maintaining public boating access facilities; installing marine sewage pumpout stations; providing matching funds required to leverage federal grants related to boating projects; improving parking; and upgrading existing infrastructure such as bulkheads, piers, and boat ramps, as well as electrical and water supply lines.