News from the DNR Office of Communications

DNR Funds Safety Improvements for Worcester County Boaters

Pocomoke City, MD (December 28, 2009) — The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Pocomoke City and Worcester County are working together to improve safety at two popular public boating facilities. With a grant from the Waterway Improvement Fund, Pocomoke City recently awarded bids to add 25 safety ladders and 25 life rings for the riverfront park at the Laurel Street Boat Ramp and repair and resurface the parking area. Worcester County used a Waterway Improvement Fund grant to add safety ladders, install cleats for securing boats, replace security lighting and worn decking, and replace roofing on two pavilions at the Public Landing Pier on Chincoteague Bay.

The improvements at the Laurel Street Boat Ramp cost approximately $41,000 and the Public Landing Pier project on Chincoteague Bay cost approximately $22,000. The Waterway Improvement Fund is supported by the 5 percent vessel excise tax that is paid when a boat is titled in Maryland and is administered by DNR for the benefit and safety of the boating public.

The paving at the Laurel Street boat ramp is already complete and the safety ladders and life rings will be installed by early spring.

“The Council and I are pleased that Pocomoke City was able to partner with the Waterway Improvement Program of DNR to complete these important improvements on the City’s waterfront,” said Pocomoke City Mayor Michael A. McDermott. “The safety ladders and life rings will enhance the safety of the many citizens who enjoy walking on our municipal docks, as well as the boating public. Improvements such as these will allow Pocomoke City to attract more boaters and tourists to enjoy our downtown business district and our beautiful waterfront in Pocomoke City.”

The improvements at the public landing pier on Chincoteague Bay were completed in November, 2009.

“What a nice enhancement to a beautiful area of Worcester County. Boaters can now dock at the facility and enjoy the view or a picnic lunch under the pavilion,” said John Tustin, Director of Worcester County Public Works.

“Safety at our public boating facilities is very important and something the Waterway Improvement Fund has supported for years,” added Bob Gaudette. “Upkeep of older facilities is vital to preserve public access to the water and provide enjoyment of boaters and local residents.”

   December 28, 2009

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 461,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries, and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic, and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at