Media Contact: Carolyn Rickard, Public Information Officer
EMERALD ISLE, N.C. (April 15, 2011) – The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and the Town of Emerald Isle celebrated the opening of the Emerald Isle Boating Access Area —the largest public boat launch facility on the North Carolina Coast —during a grand opening ceremony Friday morning.
The Emerald Isle Boating Access Area, on N.C. 58, has four launch lanes, parking for 18 single vehicles and 112 vehicles with trailers. The town eventually plans to construct additional park amenities.
“We are grateful for this partnership with the Town of Emerald Isle that has allowed us to build this coastal region site,” said Erik Christofferson, chief of the Commission’s Division of Engineering Services. “The four launch lanes and ample parking will allow boaters from across the state more convenient access to Bogue Sound and the Intracoastal Waterway. We are grateful to all the partners that contributed to this project.”
Friday’s commemoration included remarks from state and local officials, as well as a ceremonial first boat launch.
The Commission paid for the construction of the access area through funding from motorboat registration receipts and sport fish restoration funds. The Town of Emerald Isle purchased the land for the site, generating the $4.25 million necessary from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, Carteret County, the N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund, the N.C. Division of Coastal Management Public Waterfront Access Grant Program and sales of the N.C. Coastal Recreational Fishing License.
“The project is the result of a great partnership and a lot of hard work by all parties over the past 2 years and 9 months,” said Frank Rush, town manager of Emerald Isle. “The new facility is a model boat launching facility, and includes exemplary storm water management practices to help protect water quality in Bogue Sound. We are all very proud of the project and the great partnership between state and local government. ”
For more information on boating in North Carolina, including an interactive map of free, 24-hour boating access areas, visit www.ncwildlife.org. For more information on coastal boating, order a free copy of the North Carolina Coastal Boating Guide.