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Boat Owners Association of The United States
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Georgetown County Council/Carroll Ashmore Campbell Marine Complex Honored with 2010 BoatUS Recreational Boating Access Award
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GEORGETOWN, S.C., January 19, 2011 –- With a unique coastal location and the convergence of five rivers, Georgetown County is known for its rich fresh and saltwater sport fisheries.
However, until recently, this sportsman’s paradise has been hard on anglers looking to get on the water as launch ramps were crowded and their numbers declining due to increasing residential development, renewed timber harvesting operations, and “NIMBY” forces with the community. With the March 2010 opening of the new Carroll Ashmore Campbell Marine Complex boat ramp, however, the region’s anglers no longer have to struggle to get on the water, and the county has boosted economic development as the site now also hosts fishing tournaments that draw out-of-state anglers.
For its work, beginning in 1998 when it formed the Georgetown County Boat Ramp Steering Committee, to ensuring the completion of the new $7 million marine complex, the county council is honored with a 2010 BoatUS Recreational Boating Access Award.
BoatUS created the award program in 2007 to highlight the 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 solve their own waterway access challenges.
“We were impressed with the County’s dual approach - they responded to the needs of constituents and added revenue with the hosting of fishing tournaments,” said BoatUS Vice President of Government Affairs Margaret Podlich. “It’s a win for boaters, anglers and tax payers.”
Supporting the County Boat Ramp Steering Committee and helping with funding were a range of organizations and government agencies. This included the Freshwater Fisheries Coalition, Winyah Bassmasters, Tidewater Bassmasters, Georgetown Sport Fishing Club, Five Rivers Coalition, the South Carolina Legislature and Department of Natural Resources and the City of Georgetown.
Today, the 20-acre Complex located on the Sampit River offers access to fresh and saltwater fisheries with six boat launch ramps, courtesy docking, and lighted and paved parking for 200 vehicles / trailers as well as an outdoor event facility with public restrooms. Since its opening, numerous tournaments have made the Campbell Marine Complex home and it is estimated to bring in $900,000 in economic impact annually on the county.
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.