New, Larger Boating Access Area Opens on New River in Jacksonville

  • 21 November 2014
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New, Larger Boating Access Area Opens on New River in Jacksonville
With three boat ramps, a kayak/canoe launch, restrooms and ample parking, the new Jacksonville Landing Boating Access Area is located at 135 S. Marine Blvd., in Jacksonville and is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (Nov. 21, 2014) — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission partnered with the city of Jacksonville and Onslow County yesterday to host a grand opening of the new Jacksonville Landing Boating Access Area on the New River.

The new boating access area, located at 135 S. Marine Blvd, features three ADA-accessible boat ramps, a canoe-kayak access from a sandy beach, bathroom facilities and a paved boardwalk and sidewalk that connect all site amenities. It replaces the old, single-boat ramp access area across the river, which was closed yesterday.

The site offers abundant parking with 66 trailer spaces — three of which are ADA accessible — and 57 single-vehicle spaces, including three ADA-accessible spaces.

The new site provides access to the New River, which is classified as joint waters at this location. Anglers fishing this section of the river can expect to catch sea trout, flounder and other saltwater species. Upstream of the site is classified as inland waters, where anglers can expect to catch freshwater species such as largemouth bass, various sunfishes and catfish.

The grand opening began with opening remarks from Jacksonville Mayor Sammy Phillips, Onslow County Commissioner Paul Buchanan and Erik Christofferson, chief of the Commission’s Division of Engineering Lands Management. Following the remarks, a ceremonial final boat launch from the old boating access area signified the closing of the old site, while three simultaneous first launches from the new boat ramps officially opened the new site to the public.  

“The Wildlife Commission, the city of Jacksonville and Onslow County each launched a boat at the new site, symbolically representing the partnership that made this project possible,” Christofferson said. “Facilities of this scale could not be built without the help of our local partners, the Division of Marine Fisheries and especially the support of the local legislators — Reps. Millis, Cleveland and Shepard and Senator Brown. Without everyone’s support, we would not be able to achieve this type of success.”

Amenities planned for the new boating access area in the future include a fishing pier and a visitors’ center.

“This is a great day for Onslow County,” Buchanan said. “We are so happy to open this boating access area to accommodate our local boaters, anglers and commercial fisherman. More importantly, what this brings to the community is an opportunity to promote tourism and provide another way for visitors to experience what Onslow County has to offer.”

As part of the partnership, the city of Jacksonville will be responsible for all site maintenance, which includes grass cutting, trash pickup and facility cleaning, and the Wildlife Commission will replace and repair infrastructure, such as the boat ramps, boat docks, parking lot and fishing pier when needed.

The Commission paid for the construction of the project with a $650,000 Coastal Recreational Fishing License grant, $380,000 from Sport Fish Restoration funds, a $1,000 grant from the N.C. Public Access Foundation, and other monies. The NCPAF is a non-profit organization that works to promote and provide access to many of the state’s water bodies.

Onslow County contributed $400,000 to the project and provided the waterfront property and access, while the city of Jacksonville paid $1.5 million for extra land to make the site larger and to demolish old buildings that were on the site.

“This is a wonderful facility that celebrates the collaboration that it took to make it happen, and causes us to have great faith in the future for what it can bring,” said Jacksonville Mayor Sammy Phillips. “This weekend the inaugural event is a Speckled Trout Fishing Tournament. The future holds kayak adventures, other boating events and more tournaments and water-based activities.”

For more information on boating in North Carolina, including the locations of more than 200 free, publicly accessible boating access areas, visit the Commission’s online locater map. For more information on fishing in North Carolina, including where to fish, visit the fishing page.

Download a high-resolution version of the image above. Visit the Wildlife Commission's Flickr page for more photos of the event.;
Media Contact:
Jodie B. Owen
Categories: Boating, Fishing, Enjoying, News

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