GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS BoatU.S. SPECIAL REPORT BY r YCK LYDeCKer
Lake Erie H
DON’T GIVE UP THE SLIP!
This Labor Day weekend, boaters can have “front row slips” for the 200th anniversary reenactment of
the Battle of Lake Erie, thanks to Ohio’s participation in the Boating Infrastructure Grant program
Look for the map logo, left,
throughout this issue for articles
about the Great Lakes.
WITH THE 200TH ANNIVERSARY of the Battle of Lake Erie on the horizon this fall, slips for visiting boats will be in high demand among the islands that provided the backdrop for Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry’s history-changing naval vic- tory in the War of 1812. For boaters eager to plan a trip there,
either in their own boat or with a local charter, Ohio’s Middle Bass Island State
Park has a nearly new marina (opened late in the 2009 boating season) near the
center of action. The 252-slip marina has 110 slips dedicated to transient boats.
The $2.5-million project used seed money from two federal Boating Infrastructure
Grants (BIG) to rebuild a dilapidated and marginally safe marina there.
Middle Bass, long a quiet, laid-back destination for American and Canadian boaters, is
within a few hours’ cruise of Cleveland to the east, Detroit to the west. The islands are a
popular day-trip or cruising destination, a dozen-mile open-lake transit from the Ohio mainland, and homeport for hundreds of recreational boats and several bareboat charter operations. That distance, plus the unique biological and geological characteristics of Middle Bass,
the BiG program
uses excise taxes
pay on fuel and
to build ramps,
and marina slips
for visiting boaters, among many
made this a marina project to remember. In
fact, an apt mantra for the Ohio Department
of Natural Resources (DNR) project managers and the marina construction engineers
on the 10-year project (with apologies to
Commodore Perry, of course) might have
been: Don’t give up the slip!
Worth the Wait
In 1999, state officials purchased 124 acres
on the south end of Middle Bass, including
the neglected marina and a historic winery
(Lake Erie Islands vineyards are famous).
They planned a new state park with camping facilities, improved habitat for protected
plant and animal species, and better visitor
access to the island’s unique natural features. A major goal was to rebuild the marina
with new seasonal slips, and expand service
PHOTO: JOHN REES
APRIL | MAY 2013