Harkins, Merski: Erie Access Improvement Grant Program now open

For projects benefiting public fishing in Lake Erie watershed

ERIE, Sept. 18 – Applications are now being accepted for the recently expanded Erie Access Improvement Grant Program, state Reps. Pat Harkins and Bob Merski, both D-Erie, announced today.

The lawmakers said the grants are open to public entities that are interested in acquiring land or other property rights, developing or improving public access sites, or carrying out other projects that benefit public fishing in the Lake Erie watershed.

“We are excited that the program is open for applications, especially because it was recently expanded to fund a broader range of projects, including fish-cleaning stations and other projects to benefit publish fishing,” Harkins said. “We are looking forward to seeing more projects that allow residents to take fuller advantage of the lake and opportunities it offers.”

Merski, who sits on the House Game and Fisheries Committee, said, “The Lake Erie Watershed offers tremendous benefits for our region, from recreation, to commerce to tourism. Projects that expand access to the lake and fishing allow more residents and visitors to enjoy this unique Erie gem while also helping our local economy. We are encouraging public entities to apply as soon as possible.”

Act 56 of 2020 expanded Erie Access Improvement Grant Program funding – previously limited to access and habitat-related projects – to a more diverse range of projects to benefit public fishing.

Eligible activities include development or expansion of access sites, roads, parking areas, ADA facilities, habitat projects, fisheries research and fish-cleaning station, among other projects.

Qualifying applicants include townships, boroughs, municipal and county governments, as well as nonprofit groups including land trusts, conservancies and watershed associations.

The deadline for applications is Dec. 30, 2020.

More information on the program is available here.