Harkins, Merski: More than $800,000 awarded to fund Erie recreational fishing projects

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Erie anglers will enjoy enhanced fishing opportunities thanks to $804,200 in newly awarded grants from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, state Reps. Pat Harkins and Bob Merski, both D-Erie, announced today.

The lawmakers – both members of the House Game and Fisheries Committee – said most projects are being funded through the Erie Access Improvement Grant Program, which was recently expanded based on legislation co-authored by Harkins and Erie colleague Rep. Parke Wentling.

“Our legislation created greater flexibility to use the proceeds of fishing permit revenue by expanding permissible projects beyond access and habitat related projects to all public fishing-related projects,” Harkins said. “We wanted to see folks benefit more broadly from the fees they pay into the system. That flexibility is now there, and it’s terrific to see it yielding results for local anglers.”

Merski said, “It’s great to see these dollars going back into funding projects to enrich recreational opportunities on the water. Projects like the pier are especially exciting because they will allow more residents – including veterans who may have mobility issues – to get there and cast their lines.”

The lawmakers said the following projects are funded by the Erie Access Improvement program:

  • $202,200 to Western PA Port Authority for Phase 2 of the Holland Street Pier Fishing Access.
    Phase 2 includes a 510-foot-long handicap-accessible fishing area linking the new fishing pier at the north end with additional water access along the man-made dock wall to the south.
  • $150,000 Western PA Port Authority for Lampe Marina Fish Cleaning Refrigeration Unit.
    Fish-cleaning station and design/construction of refrigeration unit for storage of fish-cleaning waste.
  • $200,500 to the Regional Science Consortium for Lake Erie Buoy Project.
    Support for four buoys that provide real-time information on wind, water and wave conditions.
  • $95,600 to Fairview Township (6th Legislative District) for Avonia Beach Park Improvements.
    Design/construction of revetment system to protect shoreline and bluff area.

In addition to the above grants, Lawrence Park Township will receive $155,900 under the Boating Facility Grant Program for a Lakeside Boat Launch Renovation project, including removal and replacement of a deteriorating ramp and related improvements.

More information about the grants is available here.

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