State Digest


April 23, 2005|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

ANNAPOLIS — In Maryland

Annapolis, Cambridge get funds for waterways, docks

ANNAPOLIS - Pointing to the economic benefits derived from recreational boaters on the Chesapeake Bay, the governor announced grants yesterday to the cities of Annapolis and Cambridge to improve waterways and upgrade docks.

Annapolis will receive $500,000 to replace and upgrade the boardwalk and boat slips at Annapolis City Dock. The city is spending $500,000 of its own money and expects another $500,000 in federal funds for the project.

The state Department of Natural Resources also is providing a $950,000 matching grant for the expansion of the Cambridge Municipal Boat Basin. The money will pay for boat slips, floating breakwater platforms and a fueling station. The state funds for both projects come from revenue generated by a 5 percent excise tax on boats purchased and titled in the state.

In announcing the grants. Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. pointed out that there are 200,000 registered boaters in Maryland and that boating is a $2 billion-a-year industry. "Our future is tied to the sea in more ways than one," he said.

State authority to police waterways is expanded

ANNAPOLIS - An agreement signed yesterday between the Maryland Natural Resources Police and Coast Guard expands the state's authority to police Maryland's waterways and guard against terrorism.

The agreement gives state officers the power to block, detain or arrest boaters who enter into security or safety zones - such as coming too close to tankers carrying liquid natural gas or other explosive or hazardous cargo, according to a Coast Guard spokesman.

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., who signed the agreement at the Annapolis City Dock, also announced the establishment of a hot line to report safety or environmental problems on state waterways. People can call the toll-free number - 1-877-224-7229 - to report reckless boating, fish kills, floating debris that poses navigation hazards, sewer leaks or suspicious or unusual activity.

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