Conference Addresses Problem of Shrinking Waterfront Access

More than 200 people attended the Working Waterways and Waterfronts event in Norfolk, Virginia.

About 200 people attended the Working Waterways and Waterfronts event held in Norfolk, Virginia, in early May. This was the first national symposium on the tenuous availability of water access in this country. As the value of waterfront land continues to skyrocket, property taxes rise, causing owners to sell to developers who replace boatyards, marinas, and small businesses with high-end residential condos and private docks.

As coastal development spreads, more and more recreational boaters lose access to the water. The symposium brought together stakeholders from across the boating community to discuss this challenge, to offer possible solutions, and to reward those who've already made a step in the right direction.

Seven recipients were recognized with the first BoatU.S. Recreational Boating Access Awards created to honor an individual, group, government body, or business that has succeeded in preserving or improving public waterway access. The seven winners are the Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission of Virginia; the Shoreline Property Owners and Contractors Association of Washington state; the Carryover of the Carolina in North Carolina; Scituate Marine Park in Scituate, Massachusetts; the Port of Bellingham, Washington; the City of Trenton, Michigan; and the North Carolina General Assembly.

For details on the award winners and for more information on the symposium, visit the BoatU.S. website.