DNR Awards $12.5 Million in Waterway Improvement Fund Grants in 18 Counties

A Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) press release (2018-05-23) announced that DNR has awarded $12.5 million in Waterway Improvement Fund grants for 57 projects in 18 counties for FY 2019. The grants are used for projects to improve public boating access, facilities, and navigation. From the press release:

“Boating is a cherished way of life our state, both as an industry and for recreation,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “We are committed to expanding opportunities for our citizens and visitors to appreciate all that our waterways, coastal bays, the Chesapeake Bay, and the Atlantic Ocean have to offer, and these grants will allow even more Marylanders to make memories out on the water.”

Funded projects include the dredging of local and federal navigation channels, maintaining public boating access facilities, improving and upgrading existing infrastructure such as bulkheads, parking, piers and ramps, and purchase of rescue equipment for emergency and first responders.

“Boating is a way of life in the Old Line State, with the boating and maritime industries supporting thousands of jobs in Maryland and contributing billions of dollars to our economy and environment,” Maryland Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton said. “The Waterway Improvement Fund is a vital state resource that ensures that residents and visitors alike can access world-class recreational boating opportunities safely and enjoyably.” …

The Waterway Improvement Fund was created in 1966 to support the development, enjoyment and use of Maryland’s waters for the benefit of the general boating and cruising public. It is primarily derived from a five-percent vessel excise tax on boat purchases and titling.

The press release also provides a full list of the projects, broken down by county, location, type of project, and amount received. Counties with projects receiving a grant include: Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Baltimore City, Calvert, Caroline, Cecil, Charles, Dorchester, Garrett, Harford, Kent, Montgomery, Prince George’s, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, St. Mary’s, Talbot, Washington, and Wicomico.