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National Boating Award Bestowed on Department Employee

Fred Bedell Honored for Service to Maryland Boating Access

Photo of Fred Bedell holding awardThe States Organization for Boating Access recently awarded Maryland Department of Natural Resources employee Fred Bedell with the organization’s Outstanding Service Award. Bedell received the award in late August at the organization’s annual meeting in Anchorage, Alaska.

Bedell was recognized for 45 years of service with the department, where he began as a bulkhead inspector before overseeing the maintenance of Maryland’s buoys, including the marking of navigation channels, speed zones and oyster bars.

On his own initiative, Bedell saved the state millions of dollars by scanning more than 1,500 bathymetric surveys, organizing and cataloging 350 past dredging projects, locating more than 350 tide boards, and marking their locations. Fred also conducted marine sewage pumpout inspections throughout the state and, again on his own initiative, developed a prototype Americans with Disabilities Act-accessible kayak launch. In 2009, he was named the department’s Employee of the Year.

“Fred’s vast contributions to boating in Maryland reflect his personal commitment to excellent customer service and good management,” said Chesapeake and Coastal Service Director Matthew Fleming. “I congratulate him on receiving this prestigious and well-earned national award.”

Bedell currently assists local governments by providing preliminary design services and by conducting project review for boating access projects. He also performs depth surveys when boaters complain of running aground and he assists local governments in prioritizing and budgeting for future dredging projects.

The States Organization for Boating Access encourages, promotes and supports federal and state programs that provide safe, high-quality and environmentally sound public recreational boat access to the waterways of the United States and its territories. The Outstanding Service Award is presented to an individual or to an agency that has made either a one-time or continuing contribution to improved access on our nation’s public waters for boaters and anglers.