Archive for May, 2010

Dog Days Tournament

Monday, May 24th, 2010

These images are from the NCPAF, Inc. Dog Days Tournament, which raised $1518.50 for the purchase of Yaupon Pier by Oak Island.

Dogfish Tournament

Monday, May 24th, 2010

Photos from the 2010 NCPFS Dogfish Tournament held Jan. 30 at Johnnie Mercer’s Pier in Wrightsville Beach, NC. NCPAF, Inc. donated the trophies, courtesy of NCPFS founder and NCPAF, Inc. co-founder, Al Baird.

Boat Ramp Progress

Monday, May 24th, 2010

Pender County Boat Ramp Progress

A final deal was reached between Lewis Road property owner David Greer and the Pecan Grove Plantation Homeowner’s Association that allows construction of a much-needed boat ramp in Pender County to move forward.

The Lewis Road Ramp project was blocked by a lawsuit claiming the homeowner’s association’s water access easement would be diminished in value if a public boating access area were to be built on adjoining property. The lawsuit caused a delay that resulted in the loss of a$3 million state grant. But another $2.8 million grant became available.

Erik Christofferson, head of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s Division of Engineering Services said he was happy the property sale was moving forward. He said Lewis Road Ramp is very important because it will provide a public access to the coastal waters between the ramps located in Surf City and Wrightsville Beach, which are a long distance apart.

New, New Hanover County Ramp

In New Hanover County, a new county park opened that will provide power boaters and paddlers with a vital public access point in the southern part of the county. Trails End Park, located at the end of Trails End Road off Masonboro Loop Road, has been in development for months and is a joint project between the county and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.

The park has an access ramp for small motorboats and kayaks as well as a fishing dock. The county bought the Trails End property, the site of a former restaurant, for $4 million. The Commission designed and built the ramp and turned the facility over to the county.

It was not an easy project, with the access road claimed as private property by a homeowner’s association. Whether the state-maintained road that had always provided public access could be used to build a boat ramp was therefore in dispute.

The Commission solved the problem by building a boat ramp on its property immediately adjoining the state road right-of-way. The park is operated and maintained by New Hanover County and will be open 24 hours a day.

While the issue of placing a ramp at the old Trails End Steakhouse site was contentious, NCPAF, Inc. Chairman Mike Marsh requested Gordon Myers, Erik Christofferson and others in the N.C. Wildlife Commission’s Division of Engineering Services agreed to meet him at the site before the county had purchased the property.

Gordon Myers has since been promoted to Executive Director of the N.C. Wildlife Commission and Erik Christofferson is now the Chief of the Division of Engineering Services. Myers is also now on the NCPAF, Inc. board of directors. But the onsite meeting Marsh requested was the first time Commission personnel had heard of the property and they agreed to help with the project if possible.

While the homeowner’s association claims to the road delayed the project, Mike Marsh visited the property and through a cell phone conversation with Wildlife Commissioner Steve Windham, who is now the Chairman of the Commission, stood on the exact spot describing how the future boat ramp could be permitted and located. The action ensured continuing involvement by the Commission.

Marsh’s years of designing subdivisions and waterfront infrastructure paid off and the boat ramp was permitted and built on that very spot. NCPAF, Inc. was only in the formation stage at the time, working its way through the review process for non-profit corporations at the state and federal level. But NCPAF, Inc. but became a reality shortly thereafter. Even before it NCPAF, Inc. was up and running as a non-profit, its members were working hard to secure the public’s access to public waters.

The Trails End Park is only one example of how a few dedicated individuals, working together, can achieve monumental goals. Before the Trails End Ramp project was completed, it was thought that another boat ramp would never become available in New Hanover County, which is home to two of the most crowded ramps in the state at Snow’s Cut and Wrightsville Beach. The Trails End ramp is located between them and also provides public access to the ICW.

But most of the thanks goes to New Hanover County and its voters, who passed a parks bond referendum that provided much of funding to pay for the property purchase and to the dedication of county officials who saw the project through to its completion.

People had been using the end of Trails End Road for water access for decades and there was no parking except at the restaurant’s parking lot and along the state road right-of-way. Complaints of blocked driveways and other infractions were frequent. Now there is generous parking log and a concrete ramp, as well as a fishing pier open for public use, thanks to a group of individuals, state and county agencies working together.

For locations of all Commission boating access areas, visit www.ncwildlifelorg.