New Waterway Improvement Funds To Help Annapolis Improve Navigation, Resilience


The Annapolis Harbormaster got $225,000 in grants from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. A harbormaster boat is shown here. Lake Placid, Little Magothy River, Church Creek and Duvall/Kitty Creek also got dredging grants. (Jacob Baumgart/Patch)

Press release from the City of Annapolis:

ANNAPOLIS, MD (July 21, 2023) - The City of Annapolis Harbormaster’s Office received three $75,000 Waterway Improvement Fund (WIP) grants from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to make water access improvements at three locations in the City. The grants will pay for engineering, design and dredging that benefits the general boating public. . The locations are:

Fourth Street - the purpose of the project is to improve a failing fixed, wooden pier. City engineers will evaluate it for repair and improvement or replacement. The grant funds are for engineering and design. The City will apply for construction funding in the future.

Shipwright Street - the purpose of this project is to replace a failing bulkhead and replace the floating dock accessible via a gangway. The grant funds are for engineering and design. The City will apply for construction funding in the future.

Hawkins Cove - the purpose is to dredge a channel to provide access to the pier (to be reconstructed) at Hawkins Cove as part of the improvements in design at Hawkins Cove.

The Annapolis Harbormaster’s Office, with assistance from City engineers, submitted the three successful proposals to DNR. Each year, the Harbormaster applies for grants and has a strong track record of success. Of the $11 million available annually, Annapolis receives up to $1 million each year.

Other DNR grants for Harbormaster work include a grant for a mobile and a grant to remove derelict vessels and debris from City waters. Both grants cover fuel, supplies and hourly salaries for seasonal workers.

According to Maryland DNR, the Maryland Waterway Improvement Fund, established in 1966, funds projects which improve and promote the recreational and commercial capabilities, conditions and safety of Maryland’s waterways for the benefit of the general boating public.

Revenues for this fund are primarily obtained from the one-time 5 percent excise tax paid from purchasing and titling boats in the state. Since its inception, the Waterway Improvement Fund has provided more than $330 million for over 4,600 projects at more than 300 public boating access sites. If you use a publicly owned boat ramp or marina in Maryland, chances are it was funded and is maintained, at least in part, by state Waterway Improvement Fund funds.

This press release was produced by the City of Annapolis. The views expressed here are the author’s own.

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