Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Fish & Game

1440 Soldiers Field Rd

Brighton, Mass 02135

John P. Sheppard, Director


February 2, 2009



Mr. Henry Lind, Director

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 overall program.


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



Enclosures:          LMA of 11/7/95 320 CMR