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Boat Owners Association of The United States
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Press Contact: D. Scott Croft, 703-461-2864, SCroft@BoatUS.com
City of West Palm Beach Docks Honored with 2010 BoatUS Recreational Boating Access Award
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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., January 19, 2011 –- With virtually no public access for temporary boat dockage along the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) in Palm Beach County, getting recreational boaters, sailors and anglers to stop in the City of West Palm Beach to shop, dine, enjoy some entertainment or pick up supplies had been a challenge. However, the April 2010 opening of a new $8 million three-pier, transient dock project that allows boats to tie up for the day or afternoon at no cost is beginning to have a positive economic impact on city businesses and the community.
For its role in reviving the city’s historic core, spurring economic development, supporting local job creation, adding to tourism revenues and improving access to the ICW, the City of West Palm Beach Docks is honored with a 2010 BoatUS Recreational Boating Access Award.
BoatUS (Boat Owners Association of The United States) created the award program in 2007 to highlight successes in protecting water access as boaters and communities were losing marina slips, service yards and boat launching areas. The goal is to draw national attention to innovative solutions and share success stories so that others may help to solve their own waterway access challenges.
“There are than 40,000 recreational boats registered in Palm Beach County and many more just pass through,” said BoatUS Vice President of Government Affairs Margaret Podlich. “This transient dock facility has become the shortest path to improving the city’s economic development, and it’s become a showcase for the community.”
All three piers are open to the public. The 30-foot wide center pier, with its curving benches, shade-providing awnings, “embedded ecosystems” with native flora and artificial oyster reef, has become popular with downtown office workers at lunchtime.
Funds came from a $4.25 million grant from the Florida Inland Navigation District. The Marine Industries Association and Show Management, producers of the Palm Beach Boat Show, contributed $500,000 each to the project’s cost. With the tough economy the city has managed to find alternative sources to fund operation and maintenance while still keeping the free tie up. It has also created a task force of marine industry experts to advise on a wide variety of issues, and renegotiated a lease with a nearby marina to help offset maintenance costs.
BoatUS – Boat Owners Association of The United States – is the nation’s leading advocate for recreational boaters providing over half a million members with government representation, programs and money saving services. For membership information visit www.BoatUS.com or call 800-395-2628.