Skip to main content

Groups push for better access to Chesapeake Bay

Efforts to increase access to Chesapeake Bay’s 11,684-mile shoreline are an ongoing and slow-moving process.

Only 2 percent of the bay offers public access points for kayaks, canoes, fishing, swimming and other activities, the Washington Post reported, and some of those places are so packed on sunny summer weekends that access is iffy.

“I call it the world’s biggest gated community, the Chesapeake Bay. There are probably 100 beaches in Anne Arundel County, but they are private beaches,” said Mike Lofton, a retired economic development executive and activist for bay access whose efforts helped open a public beach at Jack Creek Park, south of Annapolis, last week.

President Obama issued an executive order three years ago to build 300 access points by 2025 — to complement slightly more than a thousand that exist in the bay watershed — but progress is slow, the Post reported.

The National Park Service teamed with governments in the Chesapeake Bay region, including Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia, to fund and construct about 30 water-access points, John Davy, outdoor recreation resource planner for the Park Service, told the Post.

Non-profit groups such as the National Parks Conservation Association, Potomac Riverkeeper and West-Rhode Riverkeeper also are pushing for ways to get people to the water.

“We’ve been saving the bay from pollution for years, and it’s hard to get people invested in saving the rivers if they can’t get to them,” said Ed Stierli, the association’s landscape conservation fellow for national parks in the Chesapeake. “The Park Service has been moving along, but a lot of it comes down to funding ... and the Park Service is underfunded and have limited funds for a lot of these access sites.”

Access to the bay and its tributaries is a larger issue than people just wanting to get their feet wet. A National Fish and Wildlife Foundation study two years ago found that recreational powerboating generated nearly $33 billion in revenue nationwide and $5 billion for the Chesapeake Bay region’s economy.

On a more basic level, impoverished anglers across six states rely on the fish they catch to feed their families, said Pam Goddard, Chesapeake and Virginia program manager for the association.

Click here for the full report.



Rays of Light

A key indicator of U.S. consumer confidence rose for the first time in four months in August as the economy added 315,000 jobs.


Yanmar Announces Sales, Marketing Hires

The company has hired Bas Eerden as global sales manager and Michele Durkin as global marketing manager.


So, You Want To Be a Yacht Broker

Tips to help build a network through an online presence which is essential to success


Ian Explodes Into Category 4 Hurricane

The historic hurricane is expected to make landfall this afternoon between Naples and Venice, Fla.


Premier Marine Announces New Minnesota Facility

The pontoon builder recently completed a 150,000-square-foot building with new corporate offices and expanded manufacturing facilities.


Scout Boats Recognizes Top Dealers

Seven Seas Yacht Sales of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., was recognized as the boatbuilder’s top dealer worldwide.


TowBoatUS Vessels Go Pink

Five of TowBoatUS’s response fleet are going pink for the month of October to help increase breast cancer awareness on the water.


Fork in the Channel

Boat registration totals for July mostly revealed considerable weakness compared with a year earlier, and tumbled back into a steeper downtrend than the prior month’s comparisons.


Inflation Stymies Boat Sales

Inventories of new and used boats are improving at the retail level but are still considered comparatively lean, according to the results of the monthly Pulse Report survey.