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Vote clears the way for adaptive boating center in Annapolis

Rendering of the proposed facility.

Rendering of the proposed facility.

On Monday night, the city of Annapolis voted unanimously to take ownership of a marina on Back Creek that would allow Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating to secure funding for a new adaptive boating center.

CRAB is a nonprofit that helps people with disabilities, including wounded warriors and at-risk children, get on the water. The group owns a fleet of specially equipped sailboats that can be skippered by someone who uses a wheelchair. CRAB has sailed out of Sandy Point State Park for years, but special events and crowding limit access to the launch spot.

City Council members Rob Savidge, Elly Tierney, Ross Arnett and Marc Rodriguez sponsored a resolution calling for the city to own the property and enter into a long-term lease with CRAB to operate and maintain the facility. According to Chesapeake Bay magazine, five votes were needed for the resolution to pass and the council voted unanimously, 8-0.

The vote will let Annapolis move forward with a Program Open Space application from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Brad LaTour, CRAB’s president of the board of directors.

“CRAB is very grateful to mayor Gavin Buckley and the Annapolis City Council for voting unanimously in favor to have the city own the property for CRAB’s Adaptive Boating Center,’ LaTour said in a statement. “Tonight was a big win for CRAB’s special guests with disabilities, wounded warriors and local children from at-risk communities being able to enjoy the premier adaptive boating center in the country.”

CRAB says ownership of the center will not cost the city anything, similar to the long-term lease that the Annapolis Maritime Museum has for its two properties.

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