BoatUS Recreational Boating Access Awards had an even dozen boating people, projects and public policy measures make the cut. Winners range from Maine to Hawaii and California to Florida, and run the gamut from changing state law and setting national priorities to building bricks-and-mortar boat ramp and dockage facilities.
BoatUS created the award program in 2007 to highlight successes in protecting water access as boaters and communities were losing marina slips, service yards and boat launching areas. The goal is to draw national attention to innovative solutions and share success stories that can help others to solve their own local waterway access challenges.
The Access Award honors a group, government body, business, individual or non-profit organization that has succeeded in preserving or improving public waterway access for boaters. Judging criteria included: how well challenges were overcome; the direct impact of the solution; and, how adaptable the approach would be in other areas facing similar water access challenges. The winning individuals are:
* Chuck May, Chair Pro Tem, Great Lakes Small Harbors Coalition for his work in leading a coalition of over 100 municipalities and securing federal funding for dredging.
* Dr. Frances Bohnsack, Miami River Marine Group (FL), for her work in securing the future of the Miami River as a working waterfront.
* Lisa Lawrence and Margaret Pizer, Virginia Sea Grant Marine Extension Program at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, for their work on a public boating access website.
* Former Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle for her support of Keehi Small Boat Harbor improvements.
* Jim Connors, Maine Coastal Program, for his work supporting the state's working waterfronts.
* Former Massachusetts Senator Michael W. Morrissey for his work ensuring the long-term viability of boat and yacht clubs operating with state leases. Six boating facility projects earned the BoatUS Access Award honor:
* Alviso (CA) Marina Boat Launch Ramp project, the only boating access point on the southern end of San Francisco Bay.
* Huron Boat Access project, Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources, for its new four-lane boat ramp project on the Huron River.
* Michigan's Dept. of Natural Resources and Environment, Recreation Division, Waterways Program, for its Eight Point Lake boat ramp project.
* South Carolina's Georgetown County Council for the new Carroll Ashmore Campbell Marine Complex for tournament anglers.
* The City of West Palm Beach, FL, for their new downtown transient dockage facility.
* The City of Clearwater, FL, for their new downtown transient and public marina facility. http://www.BoatUS.com/AccessAwardWinner