State-of-the-art Holts Landing dual boat ramp opens

State Rep. Ron Gray, R-Selbyville; Sen. Gerald Hocker, R-Ocean View; DNREC Division of Parks & Recreation Director Ray Bivens and DNREC Secretary David Small were among those participating at Friday’s ribbon cutting for the new boat ramp at Holts Landing State Park. (DNREC photo/Jennifer Fitzsimmons )

State Rep. Ron Gray, R-Selbyville; Sen. Gerald Hocker, R-Ocean View; DNREC Division of Parks & Recreation Director Ray Bivens and DNREC Secretary David Small were among those participating at Friday’s ribbon cutting for the new boat ramp at Holts Landing State Park. (DNREC photo/Jennifer Fitzsimmons )

MILLVILLE — The ribbon was cut Friday to open a new state-of-the-art dual boat ramp at Holts Landing State Park. Officials praised the completed project as improving amenities and ease-of-service that will boost recreational opportunities and tourism at the park.

DNREC Secretary David Small and Division of Parks & Recreation Director Ray Bivens were joined by state Sen. Gerald Hocker, R-Ocean View, Rep. Ron Gray, R-Selbyville, staff from three DNREC Divisions including Fish & Wildlife and Watershed Stewardship, Parks Friends groups and members of the community. “Storms have repeatedly taken their toll on this locally popular launch site,” said DNREC Secretary Small, “but the beautiful boat ramp we put into use today will not only repair years of damage, but is expected to double its capacity and improve navigational access through the investment of approximately $775,000 in improvements.”

He also said he anticipates the facility to be much used by the growing community.

The removal and replacement of the previous boat ramp took place over the winter to make way for the new dual launch boat ramp with an ADA-accessible floating dock. The newly constructed ramp will provide 24-hour access for watercraft enthusiasts.

Unlike its predecessor, the ramp allows two users to simultaneously launch vessels into the bay. To improve navigational boating access, DNREC’s Shoreline & Waterway Management Section dredged material from the boat ramp into Indian River Bay, creating a channel 60 feet wide by four feet deep that will accommodate boats up to 25 feet in length.

“It’s wonderful to be here on Earth Day to celebrate the completion of this innovative boat ramp, the largest project ever undertaken at Holts Landing State Park,” said Director Bivens. “Thanks to the support of our state legislators, DNREC divisions, Friends groups and the community the new handicap-accessible ramp and floating dock will be available to anglers and the boating public as we being a new season.”

Sen. Hocker secured $300,000 in FY2014 state bond bill appropriations that supported the improvements at Holts Landing State Park.

“I want to recognize the Friends of Holts Landing State Park and their spirit and energy, in coordinating all of the special events that take place in this beautiful park. This is the first of many more improvements to come, including those that will improve the area’s trail system,” he said.

Rep. Gray also worked with the Friends of Holts Landing State Park to bring the project to fruition.

“The crews that worked on getting this new boat ramp installed in a timely fashion for our boaters and recreational users should be commended,” he said. “I also believe the dredging that has been completed to date will again give boaters access to Indian River Bay from Holts Landing.
“This is a good day for our boating community.”

DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation took the lead on the design, permitting and construction of the new ramp, with the assistance of Andrews, Miller & Associates, a consulting firm from Easton, Maryland. The Division of Fish & Wildlife provided technical assistance, planning for the ramp and assisted with repairs to the original ramp. Construction was completed by MADCORP of Dover.

Holts Landing State Park is a 203-acre area that runs from Indian River Bayshore beach to grassy fields and hardwood forests.

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