Thursday, January 31, 2013

Park Service Seeks Greater Access to Chesapeake Bay

Chesapeake Bay report calls for more access to water

The National Park Service and the six bay watershed states, including Pennsylvania, released the plan Wednesday. The plan recommends expanding places where visitors can get to the water by more than 20 percent.

Plan authors found more than 1,000 sites where people can launch boats, fish, swim and view the bay and its tributaries. But they also found many areas with little or no access. Those include nearly 60 miles of the south side of the tidal James River in Virginia. Stretches of the Susquehanna, Rappahannock, Potomac, and Nanticoke rivers also had limited or no access.
I grew up on the left West Coast, where substantially more of the total land is owned by the Federal and State Governments and access to ocean front is far more common than it is in Maryland.  One of the important factors in our original choice of communities was water access (well, that and price).

More access to the Bay would be a good thing, but 20% isn't nearly enough; a 50% increase would be a good start.  On the other hand, if people really wanted to use the Bay, owners of bay front property would find a way to make a profit on it.  And that would be good thing.

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