ANNAPOLIS — The Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ Waterway Improvement Fund in fiscal year 2023 is budgeted to include improvements in Somerset County for both Somers Cove Marina and Webster’s Cove Marina.
Across the state $13.5 million is earmarked to improve public boating access, facilities and navigation.
In Crisfield $3 million is set aside for phase 3 improvements at the 515-slip Somers Cove Marina to include bulkhead replacement and other upgrades.
More specifically, deteriorating steel bulkheads and timber bulkheads are to be replaced as is the timber bulkhead where the buoy tender ties up. There are also storm drains and flap gates to be addressed for maximum surface runoff.
The boat ramp off Norris Harbor Drive will be assessed in this phase with a design prepared for its replacement to include four launching piers. The water end will also be extended into deeper water to accommodate larger vessels.
For improved comfort for those waiting to launch benches will be incorporated into the design.
In Mt. Vernon, Webster’s Cove Marina is on the list for $150,000 in improvements. It recently had upgrades to its bulkhead.
There were 45 applicants statewide requesting funding. Approved regionally was $750,000 to expand the Wicomico River dredging material placement site at Cedar Hill Landing in Bivalve, and $50,000 for dredging the Nanticoke Harbor also in Wicomico County.
In Worcester County, there is $1.2 million for boat ramp replacement and comfort station improvements at Pocomoke River State Park, both Milburn Landing and Shad Landing locations.
Other spending by DNR will include $145,237 for the Maryland pumpout grant program, $125,000 for the purchase of a search and rescue vessel for the Natural Resources Police, and $60,000 in general maintenance and repairs to state-owned boating facilities.
“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.