FWC News Release
Contact: Pat Harrell, 850-410-0656, ext. 17122

Nothing can put a damper on a boating day like dodging other boats and trailers, waiting to find a parking space and launching your boat at an overcrowded boat ramp. After today, boaters who have experienced this at the Old Fort Road boat ramp in Wakulla County will notice a welcome change. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and St. Marks and Wakulla County officials gathered to officially open the newly improved ramp.

Community and FWC representatives gathered at the renovated facility at 11:30 a.m. and proudly cut the ribbon. Wakulla County applied for and received a grant for $445,000 in July of 2004 from the FWC’s Florida Boating Improvement Program (FBIP) to improve the ramp.

“The Old Fort Road boat ramp in Wakulla County is very popular with boaters, and there have been long waits and a lot of frustration when boaters have launched their boats here,” said Pat Harrell, Boating Access Coordinator for the FWC’s Boating and Waterways Section. “Not only will the new facility provide better access to the water, it is also a nicer place to be.”

The renovation of the boat ramp added a two-lane boat launch – in addition to the previously existing single-boat launch. Other improvements include a new boarding dock and expansion of the parking lot. The restrooms have been remodeled, and additional signage has been erected.

“This is one of the best projects I have ever been involved in,” said Ray Gray, Project Coordinator with Wakulla County Parks and Recreation. “The construction began in March of this year; it came in right at budget, and it got completed on time because the Wakulla County Board of County Commissioners, the City of St. Marks and the FWC collectively worked together to get the job done. We are getting accolades from the public.”

Counties and cities in Florida can apply with FBIP to receive funds to build or improve boat ramps. To learn more about the FBIP program, visit www.MyFWC.com/boating/grants/FBIP.htm