For Immediate Release - June 05, 2009

Patrick Administration Announces Completed Boat and Fishing Access Projects to Kick Off National Fishing and Boating Week

New access sites will benefit boaters and anglers in Billerica, Clinton, Fairhaven, Hamilton, Marshfield, Plymouth, Springfield, Truro, Wellfleet and Westborough

BOSTON - With National Fishing and Boating Week beginning on Saturday, the Patrick Administration announced the completion of 10 boating and fishing access projects that will improve boat launching facilities for motorboat, sailboat, canoe and kayak users from Springfield to Wellfleet.

The projects involve repair and new construction of boat ramps, parking lots, and barrier-free shore fishing platforms.

"Massachusetts is home to excellent recreational boating and fishing spots that draw hundreds of thousands of visitors and residents each summer season," said Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Ian Bowles. "These facilities will make it easier for anglers and sporting enthusiasts to get on the water and enjoy the outdoors for years to come."

The completed projects are in Billerica, Clinton, Fairhaven, Hamilton, Marshfield, Plymouth, Springfield, Truro, Wellfleet and Westborough.

EEA's Department of Fish & Game Office of Fishing and Boating Access builds facilities that provide access to more than 1,200 miles of seashore and to hundreds of ponds, rivers and streams across the Commonwealth. The agency oversees boat and canoe launch sites and fishing piers at 260 coastal and inland locations in Massachusetts, where people enjoy fishing, canoeing, kayaking, sailing, waterskiing, and recreational boating.

"We're pleased that these projects are ready in time for the summer recreational season," said DFG Commissioner Mary Griffin. "These projects are partnerships between municipalities and other government agencies who work with us in providing better access to the state's coastal and inland waters."

National Fishing and Boating Week runs from June 6 through June 14.

The Commonwealth's investment in the projects was $923,000 and the towns of Truro and Wellfleet invested $400,000 on cooperative projects. Other cities and towns contributed by using their staff to construct projects. State funding for the boat access projects comes from the $1.7 billion Energy and Environment Bond Bill signed by Governor Patrick in August 2008.

DFG's Office of Fishing and Boating Access projects:

Southeastern Massachusetts

Fairhaven - Acushnet River Basin (Pease Park). This project involves the total reconstruction of a boating access facility built by DFG's Office of Fishing and Boating Access and managed by the town of Fairhaven. The project is scheduled to be complete by June 30 and to include a reconstructed ramp, a new float loading system and parking area, at a cost of $430,000. The site is managed by the town of Fairhaven.

Marshfield - Green Harbor. This is a joint project with the Marshfield Harbormaster to construct a new safety railing system at east end of the boat ramp. The cost of the project is $12,000. The facility is managed by the town of Marshfield.

Plymouth - Plymouth Harbor. This maintenance project cost $ 1,000 and involved the extension of a safety rail at the pier and a float system adjacent to the existing boat ramp. The facility is managed by the town of Plymouth.


Cape Cod

Truro - Pamet River. This is a joint project with the town of Truro involving the reconstruction of the parking area at the boat ramp. The ramp was reconstructed last spring by the Office of Fishing and Boating Access. The town contributed $300,000 and the DFG contributed $100,000. The facility is managed by the town of Truro.

Wellfleet - Wellfleet Harbor. This is another joint project with the town of Wellfleet for reconstruction of a parking area at the boat ramp. The DFG contributed $200,000 and the town contributed $100,000. The boat ramp itself, including new float system, was rebuilt in 2006 by the Office of Fishing and Boating Access. The facility is managed by the town of Wellfleet.

Northeastern Massachusetts

Hamilton - Chebacco Lake. This project involved significant repairs to the existing parking area at a cost of $85,000. The facility is managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.

Billerica - Winnings Pond. This project involved construction of a new car-top boat access area and barrier-free shore fishing platforms, at a cost of $20,000. It provides access for anglers and small boats to a good warm water fishery. The site is managed by the town of Billerica.

Central Massachusetts

Westborough - Chauncy Pond. The reconstruction of an existing boat ramp and parking area and addition of a new barrier-free shore fishing station cost $25,000. This is a joint project with the Westborough Department of Public Works, which provided equipment and labor. The pond is an excellent warm water fishery. The facility is managed by the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife).

Clinton - South Meadow Pond. This is a new facility that provides a car-top boat access to a stocked trout pond; cost of $20,000. The facility is managed by MassWildlife.

Western Massachusetts

Springfield - Chicopee River. This is a joint project with the city of Springfield for a new car-top access on the Chicopee River, cost is $30,000. The design, permitting and construction are being overseen by the DFG and the construction is being done by the city of Springfield. This area will be managed by the city and is scheduled for completion by June 30.

The DFG Office of Fishing and Boating Access manages the construction, repair, and operation of state boat ramps, canoe and car-top launch sites, parking areas, and approach roads. The office oversees facility design and construction, which is usually done by private contractors or municipal public works departments. Funds for the program are also used to construct handicapped accessible sport fishing piers and to purchase and improve shoreline fishing areas.