Anne Arundel County now has its sixth public boat ramp following a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Solley Cove Park in Curtis Bay on July 15.
“This is not just for south county or north county but for everywhere,” said Jessica Leys, director of the Anne Arundel County Department of Recreation and Parks.
Offering access to Curtis Creek, the site includes a trailered boat ramp on one side and a kayak beach launch on the other side.
Funding for the $2 million project was approved previously by then County Executive Steve Schuh and the Anne Arundel County Council, which had Derek Fink serving District 3 and John Grasso representing District 2.
Many county employees helped bring the project to fruition.
“Whether it’s our maintenance crew, our park rangers, our marketing and events staff — everyone has a hand in it,” Leys said.
Solley Cove gives Anne Arundel County residents another boat launch option. Other locations are at Sandy Point State Park and Truxton Park in Annapolis, Fort Smallwood Park in Pasadena, and Discovery Village in Shady Side. The Tucker Street boat ramp is available only to Anne Arundel County residents.
“There are 14,000 boats on trailers in Anne Arundel County,” Pittman said, “so when you start doing the math, there is a lot of demand.”
Pittman said the ramp allows people who aren’t born into wealthy families to enjoy Anne Arundel County’s 533 miles of waterfront.
“When people don’t have the opportunity to be close to the water, they don’t have the heart to be good stewards,” Pittman said.
Lisa Arrasmith, chair of the Public Water Access Committee, was among a group of kayakers that used the beach launch area following the ceremony. The new amenity is worth celebrating, but county residents deserve even more public water access, she said. No other boat ramps are currently in the county budget.
“Queen Anne’s County, right across the Bay Bridge, has 12 public boat ramps for less than 2,000 registered trailered boats,” Arrasmith said. “The new Solley Cove public boat ramp is a beautiful facility and a good start toward solving the drastic need for more public boat ramps in Anne Arundel County. What's next?”
Solley Cove Park is open from dawn to dusk and is located at 7360 Carbide Road in Curtis Bay. The parking lot has long spaces for trucks and trailers and regular car parking spots.
Pittman envisions a time when county government will hold Anne Arundel river days with festivals and free boat rides.
“We can get a lot of people out on the water who haven’t been before,” Pittman said.