CONTACT:
Jane Vachon: (603) 217-3211
Charles Miner: (603) 271-2224
June 5, 2003

New Coastal Access Site Dedicated

CONCORD, N.H. -- The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department recently dedicated its newest public saltwater access site, the Goat Island Access Facility in New Castle. For many years the spot had been a popular place for anglers to enjoy New Hampshire's natural resources. The owners then fenced off the .6-acre site and closed it to public use because of liability concerns. Through the efforts of a partnership between Fish and Game, the Coastal Conservation Association of New Hampshire and the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program, the site was acquired by Fish and Game and now offers a parking area and access to the Little Harbor/Back Channel Estuary in New Castle, providing permanent public access to the seacoast for fishing, boating (car-top access only), birdwatching and scuba diving. The site is currently open to the public.

"A creative partnership of individuals, organizations and agencies worked together to acquire the property, place it in public trust for perpetuity, and reopen this site for its traditional uses," said Charles Miner, Chief of the Access and Engineering Division at Fish and Game. "The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provided a critical matching grant, and the Coastal Conservation Association of New Hampshire mobilized its members to raise the capstone funds we needed to make the project happen."

On hand for the ceremony were Executive Councilor Ruth Griffin; William S. Bartlett Jr., Acting Executive Director of Fish and Game; Glenn D. Normandeau, Fish and Game Commissioner for the Coastal Area; Ellis R. Hatch, Fish and Game Commissioner for Strafford County; Douglas Ross, Fish and Game Commissioner for Rockingham County; Ritchie White, former Fish and Game Commissioner for the Coastal Area; Bob Ferri, President, Coastal Conservation Association of New Hampshire; Herb Drake, former House Wildlife and Marine Resources Committee Chair; Ann Lally, President of Salem Cooperative Bank; Capt. Dave Beshara of American Angling Supplies; and Charles Miner.

"It is a banner day in the short history of this organization that we are able to rally the support of so many to purchase this valuable coastal property and preserve it for public use," said Bob Ferri, President of the Coastal Conservation Association of New Hampshire (CCANH). In 2001, CCANH mobilized its members to raise the money needed to complement funds from Fish and Game and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in order to reach the asking price for the property. This cooperative effort allowed New Hampshire to preserve a valuable saltwater access point for present and future generations to enjoy.

The Coastal Conservation Association of New Hampshire (CCANH) is an organization comprised of avid recreational fishermen who have banded together to address conservation issues. Learn more at www.ccanh.org.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department works in partnership with the public to conserve, manage and protect the state's fish, wildlife and marine resources and their habitats; inform and educate the public about these resources; and provide the public with opportunities to use and appreciate these resources. Fish and Game's Access and Engineering Division acquires land for public water access sites, refurbishes existing sites and builds new public access areas.

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