Support Proposed Orange Beach Boat Launch Facility
Governor Bob Riley & Commissioner M. Barnett Lawley
Boaters concerned with convenient access to waters
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Public access to our states waterways is shrinking at an alarming rate. Developers have purchased marinas, boat yards and waterfront property and converted these properties to condominium projects. State and local municipalities must be pro-active and take bold steps to address this alarming decline. Without proper access, the average working man and his family is limited in their ability to boat, fish and play on these waters.
Our current facilities are being overwhelmed by the traffic they are receiving especially during the summer and holday wekends. The lack of parking at these facilities is the primary issue and has been well documented for years by state and local officials. The overflow parking creates major public safety concerns for the City of Orange Beach who walk a fine line to balance public safety concerns with good community relations.
In Baldwin County boat registrations are growing at a rate of 2.6\%. These water access shortcomings can only be addressed by a consistent commitment from the State Conservation Department. They must maximize the diminishing opportunities they have to provide fair and equal water access as our state's population grows and our tourism stream increases.
The City of Orange Beach's foundation and heritage is tightly intertwined with recreational boating and fishing. The city understands this and has eagerly provided the iniative, resources and most importantly the foresight, to address the issue. We urge you to do the same. By offering this parcel to the public good you will allow many more citizens the ability to enjoy and utilize and even bigger resource, our states countless square miles of recreational waterways.
It has always been a right of all Alabamians to have equal access opportunities to all of Alabama's outdoor resources. We feel it is the responsibility of the state to provide the maximum benefit for the majority of its citizens?