Grand Marais and DNR to work together on new dock and boat launch at Rec. Park

Boaters who use the Grand Marais harbor will soon have an improved dock and launch, thanks to an agreement with the state Department of Natural Resources approved Feb. 27 by the city council.
City Administrator Mike Roth explained that the new agreement, which has been reviewed and sent back and forth between the city’s and DNR’s attorneys during the last few months, will replace the existing agreement with the state that governs the boat launch on the east side of the harbor near the Coast Guard building. The new agreement takes effect upon approval by both city council and the DNR; Roth said the DNR has expressed its satisfaction with the revised document.
Roth said the new agreement runs for 35 years and is very similar to the one in place for the boat launch near The Point. Plans call for the state to construct a boat launch and parking area in the vicinity of the boat ramp at the bottom of Eighth Avenue West in the Rec Park.
The improvements are based on a concept plan which has been reviewed and approved by the city’s park board, and is consistent with the park’s master plan.
The new launch is needed, Roth said, because the parking lot near the Coast Guard Station is often crowded and difficult for boaters to use, and the ramp itself is not very “friendly” for users with large boats. However, it is currently the only access available in Grand Marais.
The new ramp will extend farther out into Lake Superior and will provide access to deeper water.