Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Ships ahoy! Transient boat docking for Cleveland's North Coast Harbor

Downtown Cleveland will become a port for those recreational boaters looking to tie up and take in a ball game, visit the Great Lakes Science Center or tour the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has awarded through its Service’s Boating Infrastructure Grant money to build a transient marina at the existing North Coast Harbor in downtown Cleveland.

Ohio's Department of Natural Resources, in cooperation with the City of Cleveland and partners, will receive $1,450,400 and match that with $509,600 to build new floating docks for 53 transient boat slips including 3 handicapped-accessible slips
and ramp, a new shower, restrooms, laundry building, and amenities.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service awards BIG Program grants to support recreational boating and associated tourism activities, which is estimated to generate more than $1.1 million for the Cleveland area.

“Downtown Cleveland is home to many attractions and the transient marina and amenities will attract boaters to the Cleveland area, and thus provide an economic boost for the local community,” said Julie Morin, the Service’s grant coordinator.

Funding for the BIG Program comes from the Sport Fishing and Boating Trust Fund, formerly known as the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund. This fund is supported by boaters and manufacturers through excise and other taxes on certain fishing and boating equipment and boat fuels.

Grantees use Boating Infrastructure Grant funds to construct, renovate, and maintain facilities with features for transient boats (those staying 10 days or less) that are 26 feet or more in length and used for recreation. Grantees may also use funds to produce and distribute information and educational materials about the program and recreational boating.

“As noted in our comprehensive Boating on Ohio Waterways Plan; in Ohio, Lake Erie is the ideal place for transient marina development and Cleveland was identified in our plan as a primary target area. This facility will be a welcome addition to the Cleveland waterfront,” said Phil Miller, the Watercraft Division’s resource planning administrator.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

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