For Immediate Release - November 06, 2009

Patrick-Murray Administration Announces Completion of $409,000 Boat Access Facility in Fairhaven

FAIRHAVEN - Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game (DFG) Commissioner Mary Griffin today joined state and local officials, boaters, and sportsmen at Fairhaven's Pease Park to celebrate the $409,000 reconstruction of the Acushnet River Basin Boat Access Facility.

"This facility was originally constructed in 1964 and the improvements were absolutely critical due to its deterioration," said Commissioner Griffin. "We are pleased to announce the completion of this project and would like to thank the town of Fairhaven for partnering with us in managing this site and the boat access facility at Sconticut Neck."

The reconstruction project began last spring and consisted of reconstructing an existing parking lot with the addition of storm water improvements, reconstruction of the stone revetment protecting the parking lot, and the construction of a two-lane concrete boat ramp with accompanying boat boarding floats. The facility now provides parking for 25 vehicles with trailers and three single car parking spaces, including two that are handicapped accessible. The original 1964 boat ramp facility was last updated with an additional concrete launching lane in 1978.

"This facility is first rate and will serve the needs of recreational boaters and fishermen all along the South Coast," said Sen. Mark Montigny. "The beauty of this region is underappreciated far too often, so whenever efforts are made to improve access to the New Bedford Harbor and Buzzards Bay they should be commended."

"I am pleased that the Commonwealth has made this investment for Fairhaven and that this facility will be an asset to the community and the region," said Rep. William Straus.

The town of Fairhaven is responsible for the day-to-day management and maintenance of the facility and the boat access on Naskatucket Bay (Sconticut Neck). The town is authorized to collect a $7 fee for the cost of maintenance, trash pickup, and policing at the facilities. The DFG's Office of Fishing and Boating Access (OFBA) is responsible for making capital repairs at these facilities under land management agreements between the town and DFG.

"On behalf of the citizens of Fairhaven, the board of selectmen extends our appreciation and a collective thank you to the Department of Fish and Game and to Commissioner Mary Griffin," said Brian K. Bowcock, chairman of the Fairhaven board of selectman. "With the abundance of coastline, Massachusetts is one of the leading sportfishing and recreational boating areas in the United States and this facility will allow more accessibility and opportunity for fishermen and boaters. We look forward to further partnerships and cooperation with the DFG to continue to develop new recreational facilities and provide further access for this wonderful Massachusetts resource."

Construction services for the project were provided by Grove Construction of Bellingham, and engineering services were provided by Vine Associates of Hingham. The project was overseen by the OFBA. The project was completed and opened to the public on July 1, 2009. It was funded by state bonds and 75 percent of the cost will be reimbursed from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Sportfish Restoration Act.

DFG's Office of Fishing and Boating Access oversees more than 275 facilities, including boat ramps, sport fishing piers, and shore fishing areas at rivers, lakes, ponds, and coastal waters throughout the Commonwealth.