Press Room

NEWS from BoatUS
Boat Owners Association of The United States
880 S. Pickett St., Alexandria, VA 22304
BoatUS Press Room at www.BoatUS.com/PressRoom

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact: D. Scott Croft, 703-461-2864, SCroft@BoatUS.com

Lisa Lawrence and Margaret Pizer of Virginia Sea Grant Marine Extension Program at VIMS Honored with 2010 BoatUS Recreational Boating Access Award

A snapshot of the "Accessing the Virginia Coast" website by Lisa Lawrence and Margaret Pizer of the Virginia Sea Grant Marine Extension Program at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.
Download hi-res photo.
 

GLOUCESTER, Va., January 19, 2011 –- To Virginia’s recreational boaters, sailors and anglers, having access to the water is critical. However, when local communities attempt to increase boat access a range of property issues, regulations, and other hurdles pop up. A new online tool, “Accessing the Virginia Coast” at www.virginiacoastalaccess.net, provides timely, accurate and practical boating access information that can help local governments or individuals grow public boating access across the Commonwealth.

This excellent resource was developed on behalf of the Middle Peninsula Chesapeake Bay Public Access Authority by Lisa Lawrence and Margaret Pizer of the Virginia Sea Grant Marine Extension Program at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS). To honor their work in helping communities achieve more boating access, Lawrence and Pizer are recipients of 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.

“The majority of issues and problems associated with public boating access relates to a lack of basic knowledge of rights for ingress and egress, and property ownership rights and privileges,” said BoatUS Vice President of Government Affairs Margaret Podlich. “This tool enables all citizens across Virginia to access to this information as well as complex technical resources, and they can use it as a social platform to raise ongoing and new boating-public access issues.”

Lawrence and Pizer’s website allows any Virginia resident or elected official to easily search for information on public access issues, rights and privileges, controls, benefits to communities, liability concerns, legislative and municipal planning assistance, technical resources, as well as the roles of land trusts and other conservation organizations who may be able to help.

Modeled after a similar project in the state of Maine, it also allows social networking amongst access advocates so they can share tactics and information and get encouragement from their peers.

The site was made possible by a grant from Maine Sea Grant and the National Sea Grant Law Center.

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About BoatUS:

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.