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DNR Awards Waterway Improvement Grants

June 19th, 2022 by WCBC Radio

Projects Funded Statewide for New and Improved Boating Access, Navigation, and Safety

Photo of boat ramp

Solley Cove Boat Ramp in Anne Arundel County, completed in 2021 with support of the Waterway Improvement Fund. Photo by Carla Fleming, Maryland Department of Natural Resources

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is providing $13.5 million in Waterway Improvement Fund grants to enhance and improve public boating access, facilities, and navigation throughout the state.

This funding is awarded to 45 applicants statewide, supporting efforts that include new public boating access, amenities, and facilities; dredging of navigable waterways; emergency vessels and equipment for local first responders; and other important infrastructure and initiatives.

“Maryland’s Waterway Improvement Fund has been an extremely valuable program for 56 years,” Maryland Secretary of Natural Resources Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio said. “Without it, we would not be able to invest in these essential boating projects in partnership with our counties, waterfront communities, and waterway users.”

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 public. The fund is primarily derived from the one time 5% excise tax paid to the state when a boat is purchased and titled in the state, as well as a small portion of the state gas tax.

The Waterway Improvement Fund primarily is used toward the construction and maintenance of more than 400 public boating facilities and more than 250 public navigational channels across the state as well as acquisition of icebreaking and rescue vessels.

Applications are reviewed and projects selected based on local government and state needs and priorities, then evaluated to determine the benefit to the general boating public. 

DNR will accept Waterway Improvement Fund applications for the next fiscal year through the department’s online ​Grants Gateway.

Projects funded in Fiscal Year 2023:

Anne Arundel County
Podickory Creek, Annapolis

Mill Creek, Arnold

South County Dredge Material Beneficial Use Site, Deale

Baltimore County
Arbutus Volunteer Fire Department
Primary rescue boat and motor replacement

Bowleys Quarters Community Volunteer Fire Department, Middle River
Fire boat replacement project

Gunpowder Falls State ParkDundee Creek Marina
Dredged material placement rehabilitation

Baltimore City
Baltimore City Fire Department
Fire rescue boat replacement, dive rescue team

Caroline County
Choptank Marina, Preston
Fuel tank installation
Marina parking lot restoration

Martinak State Park
Dredged material placement rehabilitation engineering

Cecil County
Town of Charlestown
Dredging project engineering

Dorchester County
Crocheron Wharf, Bishops Head
Bulkhead and parking lot

City of Cambridge, Franklin Street Boat Ramp
Jetty Repairs

City of Cambridge Municipal Marina
Floating breakwater maintenance

Harford County
Mariner Point Park, Joppa
Parking lot resurfacing

Kent County
Betterton Fire Company
Purchase of fire/rescue boat

Prince George’s County
Prince George’s County Fire/EMS, Largo
Water safety rescue and resource enhancements

Queen Anne’s County
Centreville Landing
Boat ramp replacement

Deep Landing Boat Ramp
Boating facility renovations

Kent Narrows – Chester River, northern approach channel
$1 million

Love Point State Park
Facility improvements project

Matapeake Landing
Boat ramp replacement

Matapeake Marine Terminal
Access channel dredging

Town of Queenstown
Queenstown Creek channel dredging – Phase I

Queen Anne’s County
Hydraulic boat trailer

Somerset County
Somers Cove Marina, Crisfield
Bulkhead replacement and marina site improvements – Phase 3
$3 million

Webster Cove Marina, Mt. Vernon
Marina improvements

St. Mary’s County
Point Lookout State Park
Boat ramps and pier replacement

Ridge Volunteer Fire Department
Emergency response raft equipment

St. George Creek
Maintenance dredge and beneficial use at Piney Point

Talbot County
Oak Creek Landing, Newcomb

Windy Hill Landing, Trappe

Wye Landing, Wye Mills

Washington County
Potomac Valley Fire Company, Sharpsburg
Rescue boat

Town of Williamsport
New boat ramp engineering

Wicomico County
Cedar Hill Landing, Bivalve
Expansion of existing Wicomico County dredged material placement site

Nanticoke Harbor

Worcester County
South Point Landing, Berlin
Boat ramp restoration. Assateague side

Pocomoke River State Park, Milburn and Shad Landings
Boat ramp replacement and comfort station improvements
$1.2 million

Snow Hill Public Landing
Retaining wall/rip rap engineering

Statewide Emergency Maintenance Dredging

State match for federal Boating Access (BA) and Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) grants

Maryland Pumpout Grant Program

Natural Resources Police Search and Rescue Vessel Purchase(s)

General Maintenance and Repairs to State-Owned Boating Facilities