After ranking No. 1 in the Boating Facilities Program administered by the state Recreation and Conservation Office, the funding needed to complete the Recreational Boaters Association of Washington Marine Park Conservancy purchase of Lakebay Marina from owner Mark Scott is guaranteed.
The $1.776 million boating facilities grant will go toward the acquisition and planning of the Lakebay Marina project. State legislators allocated nearly $15 million for the BFP in the final version of the state capital budget recently signed by Gov. Jay Inslee.
Once the acquisition is complete, RBAW Marine Park Conservancy will deed the property over to the Department of Natural Resources. The conservancy and DNR consider Washington State Parks the ideal choice for ownership in the future.
“Washington’s maritime community is critical to our culture, economy and public health. Through this partnership with the Recreational Boaters Association of Washington and Pierce County, we are ensuring the infrastructure is updated to support and expand our vital boating economy,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz. “With its warm, shallow waters, Mayo Cove has long been treasured as a summer spot for recreation and I’m proud to be working to protect that access and local history for our future generations.”
Veteran state lobbyist Doug Levy said that in allocating grants through the boating facilities program, the RCO tried to split funds with half of the available funding awarded to boating facilities operated by state agencies and the other half run by local agencies like cities, counties and ports.
“The Lakebay Marina project was submitted as a state agency project by the Department of Natural Resources with the Recreational Boating Association of Washington’s Marine Park Conservancy as a partner in the endeavor,” Levy said.
Hanna Blackstock, senior aquatics policy analyst at DNR, and Bob Wise, president of RBAW, made a joint presentation of the project to the boating facilities evaluation committee. The application and presentation process is very specific, tightly structured and timed.
“We put a lot of work into that presentation. We practiced it many times, we worked on the script,” Wise said. “But to see it come in as the No. 1 ranked project was a great victory for us of course, but a much greater victory for the entire community — the Key Peninsula, recreational boaters, and just general public access to the water and open space.”
Wise said he has come to view this about more than saving the marina.
“It’s bigger than that. I see it as a real community gathering place not necessarily related to boating but just people wanting to be able to walk out on the pier and get access to the tidelands. There’s the boat ramp and the ability to fish and crab, swim, paddleboard and kayak. And then there’s the boaters’ side of it too. There is just something about the ambiance of the location that kind of takes you back to an earlier time, away from the hustle and bustle of Seattle and Tacoma, yet still close.
“It feels like a different era out there. The place has a little bit of magic associated with it and I think that’s a big part of it.”
Mark Scott could not be reached for comment.
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