Oregon State Marine Board release – Clatsop County Parks received national recognition from the States Organization for Boating Access (SOBA) during its recent annual conference held in Tacoma, Washington. Clatsop County earned the coveted President’s Award, recognizing boating access projects that are innovative, high-quality, have unique features, and increase accessibility. The Oregon State Marine Board, in partnership with Clatsop County Parks, assisted with the design, permitting, and engineering services, in addition to contributing facility grant funding. Together, along with other partners, the Westport County Park Boating facility is first-rate and serves the needs of all boaters. Back in 2007, Clatsop County had a vision for the park by turning it into a first-class mixed-use boating facility to meet growing needs in the community and to boost a broader tourism base. The process of completely redesigning boating access took serious commitment by the county, which spanned over a decade, evolving into multiple-phased plans for improving boating access. The site was identified as a high priority for grant funding by recreational boaters in the Marine Board’s 2011-2017 Statewide Boating Facilities Improvement Plan. Westport’s makeover includes an accessible nonmotorized boat dock with a 120 x 5-foot gangway to reduce the slope during low tide, making the docks more accessible for persons with mobility challenges. The gangway also connects to a short-term tie-up dock for motorized boaters. The facility boasts a new two-lane concrete boat ramp, aluminum boarding docks, flush restroom, large boat trailer and single car parking areas, day-use area, and a park host to ensure a safe atmosphere for boaters. Funding amounts and partners include: Marine Board Boating Facility Grant for $1,065,602 and Waterway Access Grant revenue for $93,274; Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife Sport Fish Restoration Grant for $934,819; Federal Boating Infrastructure Grant for $270,423; Clatsop County Contribution for $880,770; Columbia River Yachting Association for $4,202; Total Project Cost: $3,249,090. Westport was officially dedicated on February 1, 2022, and is the perfect gateway to the Columbia River for new and experienced boaters alike. The protective slough makes this an attractive location for beginning paddlers, and a safe tie-up for motorized boats. On November 8, Larry Warren, Marine Board Director, and Janine Belleque, Boating Facilities Program Manager/Past-President of SOBA, presented the award to the Clatsop County Commission. Learn more about the project history’s twists and turns, with before and after photos from the Marine Board’s Explore Westport blog and Clatsop County’s website; complete with a video of how to use the kayak launch.
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