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Governor Ehrlich Announces an Additional $1.6 million for Projects to Improve Annapolis,
Cambridge Waterfront Areas
ANNAPOLIS -- Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr., today announced nearly $1.6 million in new Waterway Improvement Funds for the cities of Cambridge and Annapolis, bringing the total amount granted by the state to municipalities in recent fiscal years for waterway improvements to $2.35 million.
The announcement kicked off the first of three events Governor Ehrlich attended in Annapolis to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Earth Day.
“I can’t think of a better way to reaffirm my administration’s commitment to the Chesapeake Bay than to make this waterway improvement announcement on Earth Day,” said Governor Ehrlich. “The more we can make this amazing body of water accessible to our citizens, the better chance we have of convincing them of the need to restore and protect it.”
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the primary state agency that administers the state’s Waterway Improvement Fund, will provide $500,000 to improve the Annapolis City Dock, which will include replacing/upgrading the existing bulkhead, boardwalk and 20 public transient boat slips. The total cost of the project is estimated to be $1.5 million. The city of Annapolis will be contributing the remaining $500,000 and DNR has also applied for a $500,000 federal grant from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) Boating Infrastructure Grant for this project. DNR is also providing a $99,000 Waterway Improvement Fund grant in fiscal year 2006 for general improvements to other public boating facilities in Annapolis.
“This represents the best kind of civic partnership, with the state, city, and federal government all investing in the future of this treasured facility,” said Annapolis Mayor Ellen O. Moyer. “The Annapolis City Dock is the link to our past as a seafaring town and our future as an internationally known maritime destination. Now it is the heart of our community, a place we all enjoy visiting. Thanks to this funding, it will be more accommodating to visitors arriving by land or sea.”
DNR will also give $950,000 in a matching grant for the Cambridge Municipal Boat Basin Project and Marina expansion plan, which will be completed in conjunction with the expansion of the adjacent Cambridge Yacht Club. The scope of the project includes the addition of 67 new boat slips, floating breakwater platforms and a fueling station. The current estimate for the public marina project is just over $4 million. A $33,135 matching grant was also budgeted to cover the local cost share for a federal grant from the USFWS Boating Infrastructure Grant program. An additional $774,000 was granted for the improvement project in previous fiscal years, making the total allocation from the state for the project $1.76 million.
“As Cambridge experiences a population boom, these funds will ensure our public marina enhancement project progresses in a fashion that continues to attract boaters, tourists and residents to our town,” said Cambridge Mayor Cleveland Rippons. “With 255 boaters on the waiting lists for slips and transient dockage up 600 percent in recent years, this money is an investment in the future of Cambridge. These dollars strengthen local economies, encouraging statewide tourism, as well as support an enthusiasm for water recreation and our unique quality of life. I thank Governor Ehrlich and DNR for their continued support.”
Created in 1966 under the State Boating Act, the Waterway Improvement Fund finances projects that improve and promote the recreational and commercial capabilities, conditions and safety of Maryland's waterways for the benefit of the general boating public.
Revenues for this fund are obtained primarily from the one time 5 percent excise tax that is paid to the State of Maryland when a boat is purchased and titled in the state. In addition, the fund also receives a small percentage of the state motor fuel tax as a result of purchases made to fuel boats.
The fund provides money to local governments, to DNR, and to some agencies of the federal government in the form of grants and/or loans for a wide variety of capital projects to serve the boating public.
Types of projects that may be funded under this program include navigational aids (channel marking), clearing of obstructions, dredging, construction (jetties, breakwaters, public boating facilities, and safety-related facilities), marine safety equipment acquisition, installation of marine sewage pump-out stations, bridge improvements, and boating information/education.
Projects found to be eligible for assistance may receive funds in the form of grants or loans. The type of funding selected for a project is dependent upon the scope of the project, statutory guidelines, technical and environmental considerations, as well as to what degree the project benefits the general boating public.
For more information about Governor Ehrlich’s commitment to restore the Chesapeake Bay, visit http://www.gov.state.md.us/health.html
For more information on the Waterway Improvement Fund, visit the DNR website at http://www.dnr.maryland.gov/grantsandloans/waterwayimprovement.asp
April 22, 2005
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 446,000 acres of public lands and 18,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 11 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov