Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Department of Fish & Game
1440 Soldiers Field Rd
Brighton, Mass 02135
John P. Sheppard, Director
Mr. Henry Lind,
Town of Eastham
Department of Natural Resources
555 Old Orchard Road
Eastham, MA 02642-2544
Dear Mr. Lind:
Please excuse the time element involved in
answering your letter regarding the use of the state (FBA) built parking area
at Rock Harbor
for winter boat storage. Of our 62 coastal sites, 33 have parking areas that
would be useable for this purpose; therefore any allowance for this type of use
will set precedence for the use of all these areas and therefore had to be
looked at relative to the effect on all the aforementioned areas and on our
The use of the area by both the FBA and the Town
is governed by the Land Management Agreement (LMA) of November 7, 1995. Under this agreement all uses
are governed by 320 CMR (Code of Massachusetts Regulations). These regulations prohibit
the use of the area except for public access as described under 320 CMR 2.01
namely, for the launching and retrieval of watercraft and the parking of the
vehicle used in the aforesaid activity. Also under the LMA, all funds collected
at the facility should go back into said facility.
Also, although the Department may issue permits
allowing prohibited activities, we see no way to realistically get around the
problem of liability associated with use of this area as a storage facility.
Allowing storage of boats in an unfenced and unattended area may present a
whole series of issues including injury to persons, boats, equipment and the
problems associated with vessel abandonment.
Lastly, we will be soon putting out a Request for
Response (RFR) for design services for the replacement of the boat ramp and
repairs to the float system at Rock Harbor.
Whether we reconstruct the parking area at this time, or
later, this reconstruction and associated drainage updates will cost somewhere
in the vicinity of $250,000 to $300,000 plus $250,000 for the ramp. If
the Town received the funds collected for storage of boats, the state (FBA)
would expect the Town to pick up 50 percent (approximately) of the cost of the
parking lot reconstruction (about $125,000 to $150,000), otherwise the state
would assume 100 percent of the cost.
Considering the aforementioned, we do not see how
allowing this use would benefit either the FBA or the Town; therefore, we would
not be inclined to issue any permits for use outside of that allowed under 320 CMR.
John P. Sheppard
of 11/7/95 320 CMR