Delaware boat ramp gets a makeover

With an outdated boat ramp from the 1970s and a location popular for boat launching, the state and federal government agreed that a new boat ramp would be a smart investment to support the tourism industry for the Delaware Bayshore area.

Replacing the old ramp are eight new 16-foot wide launch lanes, along with five floatation boarding docks and one floatation aluminum dock connected to a 30-foot timber walkway. Officials dedicated the dock on July 30, 2012, in honor of Lacy E. Nichols Jr., who worked for the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) for 23 years and recently retired. Located on Slaughter Beach just outside Milford, Conn., the ramp is a testament to his hard work and conservation efforts.

Lacy E. “Nick” Nichols Jr. (left) and Governor Jack Markell (right) at the opening of the new ramp. Credit: DNREC

Lacy E. “Nick” Nichols Jr. (left) and Governor Jack Markell (right) at the opening of the new ramp. Credit: DNREC

The new Lacy E. Nichols Jr. Cedar Creek Boating Access is a part of the America’s Great Outdoors Delaware Bayshore Initiative. The project was designed to support the local economy by promoting the conservation of nature, while creating recreational opportunities that include boating and fishing, which are two vital components of the tourism economy at the Bayshore.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service contributed 75 percent of funding through federal aid in Sport Fish Restoration Funds to DNREC, and the State of Delaware contributed a matching 25 percent of funds from recreational fishing license fees. The federal aid funds come from excise taxes on fishing equipment and a portion of the federal motor fuels tax.

“The new boat ramp at Slaughter beach is one of many projects we will see in the future as apart of the America’s Great Outdoors initiative”, stated Michael Stroeh, America’s Great Outdoors project leader of the Delaware Bayshore Initiative and Refuge Manager of the Coastal Delaware Refuge Complex.

“The boat ramp is a great environmental friendly project that provides the public with boat access to the Delaware Bayshore for fishing. The main message is to get everyone outside to enjoy the wonderful resources that are available to them.”

Want to learn more about better hunting, fishing, boating, and wildlife-related recreation? Visit the Wildlife and Sports Fishing Restoration website.

Submitted by Shevika Mitchell. Shevika is in the Career Discovery Internship Program and will be a junior this year at Spelman College in Atlanta.

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