COLUMBUS, Ohio — Seven public access improvement projects received a total of $492,920 this year through the Paddling Enhancement Grant, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). The primary goal of the Paddling Enhancement Grant is to increase access and opportunities for hand-powered watercraft.
The Village of Pomeroy was along the grant recipients for this round. The $75,000 award to Pomeroy will go toward a new ADA compliant canoe/kayak launch, gangway, and dock for safe river access for non-motorized boats.
“Paddle sports continue to drive the sky-high participation in water recreation,” said ODNR Director Mary Mertz. “We’re proud to support our local economies and provide Ohioans with quality opportunities for recreation on the water. Just remember to wear a life jacket!”
This is the third grant phase since it was established in 2020. The grant is capped at $75,000 per project and the division budgeted $500,000. This spring, ODNR’s Division of Parks and Watercraft received 39 applications requesting $2.34 million for projects totaling $3.9 million on 31 different Ohio waterways.
Individual grant awards range from $44,000 to $75,000. The Paddling Enhancement grants are funded by Ohio’s recreational boaters through the Waterways Safety Fund, which is comprised of a share of the state motor fuel tax, watercraft registration and titling fees, and funding from the U.S. Coast Guard.
The following is a list of this year’s grants by Ohio county:
Ashtabula County, Ashtabula County Metroparks, $75,000 — New hand-powered watercraft boat launch at Upper Grand River Metropark along the Grand State Wild and Scenic River.
Athens County, Hocking College, $75,000 — New canoe/kayak launch, lighting, and parking lot improvements at Lake Snowden.
Butler County, MetroParks of Butler County, $44,000 — Improve existing small watercraft launch along the Great Miami River at Rentschler Forest MetroPark.
Meigs County, Village of Pomeroy, $75,000 — New ADA compliant canoe/kayak launch, gangway, and dock for safe river access for non-motorized boats.
Morgan County, Village of Malta, $75,000 — New ADA compliant canoe/kayak dock, lighting, and parking lot improvements at the Malta Boat Ramp along the Muskingum River Water Trail.
Ottawa County, Village of Elmore, $75,000 — New ADA accessible canoe/kayak launch and improved loading/unloading area at Harry Witty Park along the Portage River.
Trumbull County, Village of Newton Falls, $73,920 — New ADA compliant canoe/kayak launch ramp, driveway, and parking lot improvements at the Commerce Park Launch Site located along the Mahoning River Water Trail.
The Division of Parks and Watercraft provides exceptional outdoor recreation and boating opportunities by balancing outstanding customer service, education, protection and conservation of Ohio’s state parks and waterways.
Information provided by ODNR.