New boat ramps are needed

Published 4:16 pm Monday, October 7, 2013

Beaufort County could use another location where boaters and fishermen have access to public waters.

The county’s plan to spend about $406,000 on acquiring land for such a facility should become a reality as an investment in the county’s economic future. The county, with assistance from the Mid-East Commission, is applying for a $345,100 grnt from the N.C. Division of Coastal Management through its Public Beach and Coastal Waterfront Access Program. The county’s contribution toward the land acquisition would be $60,900, according to a Mid-East Commission document.

The county would like a boating-access area adjacent to Wright’s Creek in the Pamlico Beach area. The boating-access area would be off Wilkins Road.

The grant application notes the importance of boating in the county.

“Boating is a major part of both the culture and economy of Beaufort County. The addition of the Wilkins Road public access facility would give the local economy a much needed boost,” reads a document that’s part of the application. “The influx of visitors into the area to use the facility would benefit area restaurants, hotels, and the merchant business.”

If the grant is approved and the land is acquired, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission has proposed construction of a public-access boat ramp large enough to facilitate larger watercraft than the current on-site ramp now serves.

That’s a plan we must support.