Possible new life for Eddon Boat Waterfront Park expansion
U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington, is co-sponsoring legislation to protect the Land and Water Conservation Fund. If passed, Senate Bill 1265 would provide matching grants for community parks across the state, including expanding Gig Harbor’s historic Eddon Boat Waterfront Park with 167 new feet of low-bank waterfront for public access, according to Cynara Lilly, a Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition spokesperson.
The final Surface Transportation Reauthorization bill President Barack Obama signed into law on July 6 did not include a Senate-passed provision to fund the LWCF at $700 million per year for the next two years, and to reauthorize the program through 2022, thus threatening the Eddon Boat Waterfront Park expansion project.
Plans called for the LWCF to fund $293,927 for a total project cost, including city matching funds of $651,055.
“We applaud Sen. Murray’s leadership on behalf of our clean water, wildlife habitat and access to the outdoors. By signing onto this long-overdue piece of legislation, Sen. Murray has demonstrated her commitment not only to conservation in Washington state, but also to our state’s vital recreation economy,” said Joanna Grist, Executive Director for the WWRC. “This is especially important in these tough times when cuts to conservation spending nationally could threaten local jobs.”
As planned, expansion of Eddon Boat Waterfront Park would add to an existing multi-use park that includes the historic Eddon boatyard cultural center, kayak launch, dock, open grassy area, beach and panoramic views of Gig Harbor Bay.
Located in the heart of Gig Harbor, the added waterfront properties would be suitable for fishing, kayaking, canoe sports and direct access to the waters of Puget Sound within close proximity to restaurants and existing recreation amenities.
Both parcels are currently posted for sale for private development.
The LWCF does not use taxpayer dollars. Instead, it uses funds generated by off-shore oil and gas royalties from oil companies that drill in the outer continental shelf.