Parker Bridge Public Boat Ramp to Open May 23

A new public boat ramp at Parker Bridge will open on May 23 thanks to a partnership between the Alabama Department of Conservation’s Division of Wildlife & Freshwater Fisheries (W&FF) and the Escambia County Commission. A ribbon-cutting for the opening will be held Tuesday, May 23 at 1:30 p.m. at the boat ramp, which is located off of Escambia County Road 4 (Bradley Road) where it crosses the Conecuh River.

Alabama Department of Conservation & Natural Resources (ADCNR) is the initial administrative, financial, engineering and boat ramp contractor partner in this project. Not counting manpower in the design, permitting and overseeing of the construction, ADCNR and WFF spent over $50,000 on this new facility. This funding is 25 percent Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries funds from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses and 75 percent Sport Fish Restoration (SFR) funds. The SFR funds are from a federal excise tax on fishing tackle and federal motor boat fuel tax. SFR and WFF funds are “user pay” programs in which only the user pays the cost and they are the ones who benefit from the programs.

With 118 public boat ramps, WFF cannot build new ones without partnership from a local agency. At this site, the Escambia County Commission, in particular Commissioner Todd Williamson and Engineer Bill Bridges, stepped forth to offer construction of the entrance road and parking lot, and to provide law enforcement patrols, and routine maintenance such as mowing and litter pick-up.

Also supporting the Parker Bridge boat ramp project are Senator Pat Lindsey and Representatives Seth Hammett, Frank “Skippy” White and Greg Albritton. “These programs can not survive without the continued support of federal and state legislators,” said Dan Thompson, Capital Development Coordinator for WFF. “We very much appreciate their help.”