The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) has been awarded a grant of approximately $250,000 through the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) to construct a new floating, transient dock facility at Roland Cooper State Park near Camden, Alabama. Construction of the new dock is expected to be completed by the end of 2020.
The grant funding was provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) program. Grantees use BIG funds to construct, renovate and maintain marinas and other facilities with features for transient boats to be used for outdoor recreational access.
The new facility at Roland Cooper State Park will feature a 40-foot aluminum gangway and two 120-foot-long floating docks constructed in a T-shape. Additional improvements include an ADA compliant parking lot and a new gravel road leading to the dock.
“Access to public outdoor recreation provided through the Conservation Department has proven invaluable during these trying times,” said ADEM Director Lance LeFleur. “We are happy to award this grant in support of their efforts.”
When completed the Roland Cooper dock project will improve public access to Dannelly Reservoir on the Alabama River in Dallas County.
“I am thankful we will be able to make this great addition for public access to this park,” said Chris Blankenship, ADCNR Commissioner. “Deputy Commissioner Ed Poolos noticed the lack of adequate dockage at this park and set to work to find funding to provide it. His coordination with ADEM and local supporters in Wilcox County to make this happen should be commended.”
Local podcast host and outdoors promoter James “Big Daddy” Lawler says the new dock will be a welcome addition to the park for the many recreational boaters who visit each year.
“Roland Cooper State Park is essential to our area not only as a diversified outdoor recreation destination, but it also has a huge impact on our economy,” Lawler said. “The new dock will be a very inviting addition to the many traveling boaters who might not have added Roland Cooper as a destination river stop because of the lack of adequate docking.”
Funding for the USFWS’s BIG program comes from the federal Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, which boaters and manufacturers support through excise and other taxes on certain fishing and boating equipment and gasoline.
For more information about Roland Cooper State Park, please visit www.alapark.com/parks/roland-cooper-state-park.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through four divisions: Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit www.outdooralabama.com.