The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has awarded a grant to Cecil County to construct a new boating facility on the Elk River and dredge the adjoining channel. The facility will provide recreational boaters with access to the Elk River and Chesapeake Bay, and other residents will enjoy the landside facilities.
“Everyone at the federal, state and local level pulled together to make this project happen,” Said DNR’s Boating Service Director Bob Gaudette. “This new boating facility will be enjoyed by local residents as well as boaters throughout Maryland.”
The Elk River Park Boating Facility was substantially completed and opened in July 2009 with $437,700 in Waterway Improvement Funds. The entire project, including dredging, will cost just over $2.3 million and also includes funding from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Cecil County, and Program Open Space. $86,000 in Program Open Space funds helped provide landside park facilities including a picnic pavilion, barbeque pits, and a swing set. Boy Scout troop 131 designed and installed the pavilion and swings.
The facility boasts a new two-lane boat ramp with a 5 feet by 60 feet floating dock, two ADA accessible car/trailer parking spaces, and a new access road and turning area. Additionally, DNR included stormwater management measures to clean and control run-off from the site. Measures include stone lined swales, trench drains, two wet ponds to hold stormwater rather than have it rush over the parking lot, and sediment traps to capture dirt and debris.
The boat launch is open to anyone but the county asks users to contribute $5 in the honor box. Boaters can also purchase a launch permit for an entire year for $20, from the Cecil County Parks and Recreation office.
“The facility will be a tremendous asset for boaters, fishermen, and recreation seekers,” County Parks Director Clyde Van Dyke said.
Kevin Musselman, a county park maintenance official, sees a bright future for the park. “It’s beautiful,” he said. “I can see people wanting to get married here some day.”
DNR’s grant funds are provided from the Waterway Improvement Fund, which is funded by the 5 percent excise tax paid when a boat is registered in Maryland.
source: DNR press release