SPENCER’S ISLAND – Recreational boaters here will have an easier time launching their small vessels on Spencer’s Island Beach thanks to infrastructure funding announced on Feb. 20.
Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley MP Scott Armstrong announced federal funding to the tune of $16,500 from the federal government’s Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund (CIIF.)
“This is welcome news for Cumberland County residents and visitors,” said Armstrong. “Recreational amenities like the Spencer’s Island boat launch help support active, healthy lifestyles. They are important community assets – bringing families and residents together.
“In addition to enhancing our quality of life, they also generate economic activity and jobs,” he added.
In addition to the federal funds, the project is receiving $6,500 from the provincial department of economic and rural development and tourism, as well as $5,000 from the Nova Scotia Sportfish Habitat Fund. The Spencer’s Island Community Association will contribute $1,000.
The work will improve safety, functionality and accessibility by upgrading the existing ramp and extending it by using pre-cast cement slabs, which will help with launching and hauling boats during low tides.
The upgraded slipway will extend over a soft area of the beach where boaters have frequently got their vehicles stuck, association president John Grant explained.
“The area immediately below the slipway, where it is now, the gravel is the softest because that’s where the underground water tends to run out when the tide is receding,” said Grant, who credited local campground Bob Kimber for raising the issue at the association meetings. “Most locals know to drive over about 100-200 feet and then go in, because the beach is harder, but other people don’t know that.”
The extension will double the length of the cement slipway, which now extends about 150 feet down the beach.
Also on hand for the announcement was Cumberland County Warden Keith Hunter, who joined Grant in crediting the late Ratchford Merriam, longtime county councillor for the area, for also pushing the matter.
“The boat launch is a popular amenity for recreational boaters, tourism operators and community members alike,” said Hunter. “This work will provide a safer, higher quality experience for all users and will be beneficial for years to come.”