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Boston — In an effort to increase public access for fishers and boaters across the Commonwealth, the Baker-Polito Administration today announced the completion of 11 fishing and boating access projects valued at more than $1.9 million that include boat ramp and fishing pier renovations, parking lot improvements and a new dock.
“These boating access improvements will greatly enhance boating and fishing opportunities and support our valuable tourist economy,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “It is our priority to ensure all Massachusetts’ residents and visitors can enjoy the beauty and recreational opportunities our public lands and waters provide.”
“Proper maintenance of these facilities is of critical importance to the recreational boating and fishing communities,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “I would like to thank our many municipal partners who work with us to provide quality public access to Massachusetts waterways.”
The Department of Fish and Game’s (DFG) Office of Fishing and Boating Access (FBA) manages the construction, repair and operation of state boat ramps, canoe and car-top launch sites, sport fishing piers and shoreline fishing areas. The FBA oversees facility design and construction, which is usually done by private contractors.
“The Department of Fish and Game, through collaboration with local and private partners, works hard to ensure Massachusetts’ residents and visitors have safe, reliable access to our many beautiful bodies of water,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “By increasing access to outdoor recreation, we hope to enhance the lives of citizens from every corner of Massachusetts and heighten appreciation for our natural resources.”
“Access to rivers, lakes and coastal waters is a top priority for recreational boaters, fishermen, and hunters,” said DFG Commissioner George Peterson. “The construction and maintenance of these facilities is a great investment in our recreational infrastructure.”
The fiscal year 2016 projects are listed below by region.
“I greatly appreciate the state Department of Fish and Game funding this project, in conjunction with their Office of Fishing & Boating Access, resulting in a boat ramp, park area, and fishing site,” said State Senator Kathleen O'Connor Ives (D-Newburyport). “This is an important improvement for expanding Methuen's access to the Merrimack River.”
"I commend the Department of Fish and Game for sticking with this project,” said state Representative Linda Dean Campbell (D-Methuen). “They have been outstanding partners with the City of Methuen resulting in a tremendous facility that provides local residents with great access to this beautiful river.”
South Shore/Cape Cod
“Investing in access to coastal resources is crucial to the health and future of the Commonwealth,” said Cape and Islands Senator Dan Wolf (D-Harwich). “On the Cape, we call it building the 'blue' economy. The two projects from my district included in this round of funding are wonderful examples of that. So thanks to everyone at the Department of Fish and Game for shepherding this good work along.”
“I would like to thank the Baker-Polito Administration, Secretary Beaton, and Commissioner Peterson for their continued support to Cape Cod and the 1st Barnstable District,” said State Representative Timothy R. Whelan (R-Brewster). “This funding will continue to allow to the Town of Yarmouth to preserve our local fisheries and wild life observations.”
“Maintaining and improving access to our beautiful waterways continues to be a priority and these funds will be well used to increase access and hopefully encourage people who have not been to the area to put a boat, canoe or kayak in and enjoy all the area has to offer,” said State Senator Anne Gobi (D-Spencer).
“The Connecticut River is one of our greatest assets in the Pioneer Valley for many reasons, including its recreational opportunities like fishing and boating,” said State Senator Don Humason (R-Westfield). “As a member of the Legislature’s Boating Caucus and Sportsmen’s Caucus, I thank the Baker Administration for investing in the Easthampton boat ramp and supporting the interests and passions of the many recreational boaters and sportsmen and women in my district.”
The Office of Fishing and Boating Access is charged with providing boating and fishing access to over 1,200 miles of seashore and hundreds of lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams in the Commonwealth. The agency oversees more than 290 boat and canoe launch sites, along with shore fishing areas and fishing piers.
Appropriations for the acquisition, construction, and maintenance activities of the FBA come from several sources. State general funds, bond appropriations, revenue from the sale of the Division of Marine Fisheries’ recreational salt water fishing permits, and federal reimbursements by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service under the federal Sport Fish Restoration Act all help fund FBA projects.
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.
Click here for a table of information about the individual access locations, maps, and fisheries information.