State Environmental Officials Celebrate Completion of Scituate Boat Access Project
SCITUATE - August 25, 2011 - In time for the final long weekend of the summer, officials from the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game (DFG), along with state legislators and town officials, yesterday celebrated the completion of a reconstruction project at the Scituate Harbor Boat Access Area in Scituate, which will enhance boating access and fishing opportunities on the South Shore.
"Access to outdoor recreation activities is what makes the Commonwealth a premier destination for summer activities and projects like this one make our coastal waters more accessible for everyone to enjoy for years to come," said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr.
The DFG's Office of Fishing and Boating Access completed reconstruction of the facility this year. The total project cost of $ 329,000 was paid for by the state's environmental bond fund. In fiscal year 2011, DFG's Office of Fishing and Boating Access completed eight boat access projects valued at close to $1.4 million, including boat ramp renovations, parking lot improvements, and new docks in Southeastern Massachusetts and Cape Cod.
The South Shore's popular boat access facilities are often filled to capacity on summer weekends, with thousands of salt water anglers frequenting the waters around Scituate Harbor in pursuit of premier fishing sites for striped bass, bluefish, fluke, tautog, and bluefin tuna, among other species.
"This is a fantastic project that highlights the work we have done to maintain and improve recreational boating facilities in the Commonwealth," said DFG Commissioner Mary Griffin. "Fishing and boating are extremely popular with Massachusetts residents and visitors and these facilities are important both for the recreational opportunity they provide and to the state's economy."
Work at the Scituate Harbor Boat Access Area involved the complete reconstruction of the boat ramp and replacement of floats, which makes launching and retrieval of boats much easier. The facility includes parking for 43 cars with trailers and 12 single vehicles and is managed by the town of Scituate. The boat ramp provides access to Massachusetts Bay and the North and South River area.
"The completion of the Scituate Boat Access Project highlights the commitment that the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game, the Administration, and the Legislature have made to Scituate Harbor, one of the biggest hubs for recreational boating on the South Shore," said Sen. Robert Hedlund. "The project is important not only for the recreational boaters, but also the economy that supports them, and I commend those involved for recognizing the value of this investment."
"This project is a great success story for Scituate," said Rep. James Cantwell. "Improved public access to the water represents a big economic boost to the community and I applaud everyone's hard work and effort."
"This new Scituate Harbor Boat Ramp will provide boaters and anglers improved access to our beautiful coastal waters, and will benefit our residents, visitors, and the local economy," said Rep. Garrett Bradley. "I was pleased that the Legislature supported funding for this project. Thank you to Governor Patrick, Secretary Sullivan, Commissioner Griffin, and Scituate town officials for their critical support."
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.
DFG's Office of Fishing and Boating Access (FBA) manage 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. Office funds are also used to construct handicapped accessible sport fishing piers and to purchase and improve shoreline fishing areas. FBA facilities provide access to more than 1,200 miles of seashore and hundreds of great ponds, rivers and streams in the Commonwealth. The office oversees 273 boat and canoe launch sites, shore fishing areas and fishing piers in Massachusetts, giving residents and visitors extensive opportunities to enjoy fishing and recreational boating opportunities such as canoeing, kayaking, sailing, and waterskiing.
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