Canoe/Kayak launch improvement letter

We have an area in the city thats a great place to paddle (Dutton Island Preserve). the only problem is, when its low tide the launch area is very high and completely MUD… I want to compose a letter to have other pladdlers here in Jacksonville to email to the city… but I have no idea where to start or what the body of the letter should contain. the Launch area really needs improvement, but i dont know what to say…

I hope some one here could steer me in the right direction, because I have no idea…

Any and all help would be appreciated…

Thank you

petition or a way to make money
If you got enough paddlers to petition it, you might be successful. But you’re trying to get the city to spend money. If there could be some way the city could recoup some of the cost, they’d be more likely to go along with it.

Maybe a fund raiser event?

regulatory issues
I find that a big reason that cities and towns don’t often go forward with various projects in wetland areas is that they don’t want to have to deal with permitting issues. Chances are a dock or some type of fill would require permits from at least the US Army Corps of Engineers and/or the state. You should research this a bit in order to go to the Town with the info, such as are there agency-preferred means for improving access? If you limit alteration to a certain amount, is a permit even necesary? (I’ve had towns not even start looking into a project that turned out not to need any permit of any kind). Is an engineered or surveyed plan required to obtain a permit? This can easily double (or more) the cost of an inexpensive project. Are you willing to shepherd any application through the proceess if the city/town is not? Does the Town actually own the property and accecss rights, or are they owned by someone else? The answer could surprise you.

As part of that process, getting public support and or the ear of elected officials helps. Especially if you can work a feel-good benefit (recreational opportunities) into your pitch.

good luck!


Usually the DEC has a hand in it

It took a decade to get the DEC and the Town of Tonawanda (NY) to agree on and implemment a hand launch site here in WNY.

Sometimes, if you can get the local newspaper or tv stations involved (doing a piece on local paddling)it becomes the embarrassing ‘push’ needed.

Appealing to the tourism aspect (thru your tourism board)is another aspect.

I know several of us even went so far as to offer our labors in constructing a hand launch and were turned down …insurance regulations.

I vividly remember spending a good 30 min raking and clearing the aformentioned launch site just so I could launch…Finally wound up with a 20’ runner of elcheapo astroturf that I had a string attached to and was able to pull in behind me ,roll up and store on deck…Took some doing but I finally develped a technique to toss it so I could slide the kayak onto it getting out as well.

Good luck…Know your pain.