Home > Uncategorized > DEP Quietly Launches New Boat Ramp Fees

DEP Quietly Launches New Boat Ramp Fees

Christie Vetoes Millionaire’s Tax – But Boaters, Kayakers, Canoeist Pay

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[Update: 6/20/12 – I am not certain of this, but, in what may be a minor victory, I think I heard the Canal Park Superintendent just advise the D&R Canal Commission that public access (boat launch?) at the Lambertville ramp is free. Apparently fees not allowed under a prior agreement with rowing or boat club? Did I get this right? – Sorry, I the briefing was rapid and not detailed. end update]

Governor Christie has made it abundantly clear that he opposes new taxes on the rich and corporations – but his DEP has no problem charging boaters, kayakers, canoeist and even tubers with steep new “boat ramp access fees”.

launch1According to the D&R Canal State Park Superintendent, new fees will be imposed on Delaware River access points in D& R Canal State Park at Kingwood, Byram, Bulls Island, and Lambertville.

A quiet day on the river will now costs $12 ($60 for a season pass).

I don’t recall these fees being mentioned in DEP’s November 2011¬†“Sustainable Parks Funding Strategy” (or in Governor Christie’ press release)

I wonder if these new fees will be as unpopular and opposed as the saltwater fishermen registry issue. Guess we will see come the Legislature’s FY ’13 Christie Budget crunch time.

DEP refused to impose $5 per year registration fees on saltwater fishermen, in a program where revenue shortfalls have forced closure of NJ fisheries.

Yet DEP finds no problem with $12 daily fees for low impact canoeist and kayakers for use of an asset that has been paid for long ago and requires virtually no DEP staff support or maintenance costs.

Chalk that up to the triumph of politics over policy.

The season runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

DEP apparently still has not figured out if the new fees will apply to firemen’s access ramps located just south of Lambertville and in Titusville.

DEP was unable to explain how the new access fee system would be administered – possibilities still under consideration include a voluntary system or a system of tags on trailers or boats.

It was not described how the fees would be enforced, e.g. would state marine police now ask boats, canoes, and kayaks on the river where they entered and if they paid a ramp fee?

DEP apparently understands that the new fees will cause many people to evade the fees by entering the water along the banks of the river.

The new fees will create unintended consequences and lead to a host of  major new problems, including damage to vegetation and habitat along sensitive river banks, erosion, litter, and safety, trespass and nuisance issues.

The fees do not distinguish the types of craft, i.e. low impact self powered craft like canoes and kayaks will pay the same fee as polluting powerboats and jet skis.

Sounds like this was poorly thought out and not ready for prime time.

trailers access Lambertville boat ramp today - note Pennsylvania plates

trailers access Lambertville boat ramp today - note Pennsylvania plates

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  1. john
    May 17th, 2012 at 22:52 | #1

    Does this include ever size boat. I wish there was a way we could boycott these access points, but it would sure kill playing at the wing damn.

  2. Robin
    May 24th, 2012 at 11:57 | #2

    well Now I have just made up my mind to go canoeing in other venues in NJ instead of the Delaware. I always took a garbage bag with me and cleaned up after all the others that trashed this river now I can’t imagine what it will look like. So i will using other means for canoeing.

  1. March 22nd, 2012 at 14:41 | #1
  2. May 22nd, 2012 at 14:48 | #2
  3. August 5th, 2012 at 11:03 | #3
  4. January 6th, 2015 at 11:29 | #4
  5. June 12th, 2015 at 09:03 | #5
  6. June 12th, 2015 at 18:42 | #6
  7. February 26th, 2016 at 10:06 | #7
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