Patrick Administration Announces Grant Awards for Recreational Saltwater Fishing Access
BOSTON – Wednesday, June 4, 2014 – Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Rick Sullivan today awarded the first grants from a new program to improve fishing opportunities in Massachusetts’ marine waters.
“Saltwater anglers need better facilities and access to our marine waters to fully enjoy their sport,” Secretary Sullivan said. “This new small grant program, funded by the $10 fee recreational anglers pay for their saltwater fishing permits, will pay for projects that will improve access in coastal cities and towns.”
“Saltwater anglers in Massachusetts have spoken loud and clear about their desire for better access to coastal waters,” said Department of Fish and Game (DFG) Commissioner Mary Griffin, “and this grant program will complement the Patrick Administration’s funding for sport fishing piers and boat access areas that have greatly improved access for fishermen.”
During this first round of grants, DFG’s Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) awarded funds to five coastal municipalities for projects as follows:
- Duxbury: This $6,000 project will add a fish cleaning station, complete with running water, lighting and a webcam for angler weather checks to the town pier facility next to the Harbormaster’s Office.
- Fall River: The $10,000 project includes the installation of three LED light posts at the existing state boat ramp facility. The lighting will improve the safety of launching and retrieving boats at the facility.
- Quincy: The City of Quincy has been awarded up to $10,000 to rebuild portions of a busy state boat ramp facility. The project involves installing riprap to protect the sides of the ramp.
- Rockport: Using $3,500 in grant funds, the town will hire a professional arborist to clear one and a half miles of trails on the Atlantic Pathway during the growing season. This path provides access to the water’s edge at a striped bass fishing location in Rockport.
- Swansea: Using $10,000 in grant funds, the town will create a new facility on town property along the Coles River that will provide automobile parking, bicycle parking, cartop vessel launch access and shore fishing access.
“These projects will preserve and create new fishing opportunities and the funds we are providing will complement work being done at the facilities by the cities and towns receiving the grants,” said DMF Director Paul Diodati. “This state-local partnership will improve safety, access, and angler experience.”
The projects are being funded from revenues in the Marine Recreational Fisheries Development Fund, which was established in 2011 when the Massachusetts Legislature created a state recreational saltwater fishing permit. Prompted by a federal mandate enacted to improve estimates of saltwater fishing efforts and catch data, the permit program provides funds for marine recreational fishing programs including fisheries research, management and public access for anglers. Under the state law that established the recreational saltwater fishing permit, one-third of all license fees are dedicated to recreational saltwater fishing infrastructure projects in Massachusetts, ensuring better access to coastal fishing.
The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) is responsible for promoting the conservation and enjoyment of the Commonwealth's natural resources. DFG carries out this mission through land protection and wildlife habitat management, management of inland and marine fish and wildlife species, and ecological restoration of fresh water, salt water, and terrestrial habitats. DFG promotes enjoyment of the Massachusetts environment through outdoor skills workshops, fishing festivals and other educational programs, and by enhancing access to the Commonwealth's rivers, lakes, and coastal waters.
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