Renovations to Fifteen Mile Creek Boat Ramp Completed
The Fifteen Mile Creek boating access site in Little Orleans is the latest in a series of Western Maryland facilities to receive a complete makeover. The project has made accessing the water much easier with a new boat ramp, increased parking and improved access areas.
“Boaters in Western Maryland have been eagerly awaiting the completion of the Fifteen Mile Creek boating access facility,” said Mark O’Malley, DNR’s Director of Boating Services. “This project will dramatically improve boater access to the upper Potomac River for many years to come.”
The Fifteen Mile Creek project involved the construction of a two-lane boat ramp, an improved access road, and a paved parking lot with 14 vehicle/trailer spaces and 6 car spaces. Additionally, two Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) vehicle/trailer spaces were designated close to the ramp.
The project is the third collaboration between the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, National Park Service, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Brunswick boating access facility was completed in 2010 and the Point of Rocks boating access facility, in 2011. All three are located along the C&O Canal within the national park.
“The Fifteen Mile Creek Boat Ramp facility located in the C&O Canal National Historical Park was in disrepair for many years,” said Kevin Brandt, Superintendent of Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park. “Were it not for the longstanding state-federal partnership, this project could not have been accomplished.”
The total cost of the project was $864,227. Of that total, a federal Sport Fish Restoration Fund boating access grant provided $510,000 (59 percent) which was matched by $354,227 (41 percent) in State Waterway Improvement Funds.
Administered by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Sport Fish Restoration Fund is derived from federal excise taxes on fishing equipment and motorboat fuels. A portion of this user-pay, user-benefit program assists in funding public recreational motorboat access projects. Since its inception in 1966, the State Waterway Improvement Fund ─ derived from the 5 percent vessel excise tax paid when a boat is purchased and titled in Maryland ─ has funded more than 4,500 grant projects, valued in excess of $300 million, in the development of more than 300 public boating access sites.