McMillan Pier and Boat Ramp officially opened at Fort Morgan

McMillan Pier and Boat Ramp officially opened at Fort Morgan

The ribbon cuttings to offer entry to Alabama’s ample pure sources continued final week as Governor Kay Ivey, Conservation Commissioner Chris Blankenship and different dignitaries State Representative Steve McMillan officially opened Fort Morgan Fishing Pier and Boat ramp on Mobile Bay.

The facility is known as in honor of the late Rep. McMillan, who served Baldwin County within the Alabama House of Representatives since 1980.

Governor Ivey stated the reopening of the pier and renovated boat ramp is an effective way to acknowledge an incredible Alabama statesman.

“I am honored to be here to honor Rep. Steve McMillan’s service to this area by naming this pier and boat ramp in his name,” stated Governor Ivey. “Steve served for more than 40 years with the distinction that very few can imagine. His work showed his dedication to southern Baldwin County, especially in the Fort Morgan area. I was probably proud to call Steve my friend. As a ‘thank you’ for the work Steve has done for Baldwin County, it is only fitting that this boat ramp and pier bears his name. State Representative Steve McMillan Fort Morgan Fishing Pier and Boat Ramp has been a long time coming. There has been a dock at this location since before the Civil War.”

Governor Ivey stated entry to the nice fishing at the underside of Mobile Bay was sorely missed after the previous pier was closed in 2014. With the brand new services, the leisure alternatives will once more be plentiful and contribute to the state’s tourism economic system.

“When the old pier became dangerous and was forced to close, we understood that rebuilding this pier was necessary,” Governor Ivey stated. “Not solely did we understand we would have liked to maintain Alabama’s historical past alive, however we knew this rebuild would improve the leisure use of our state’s lovely pure sources. This new pier and boat ramp and basin will present entry to the fisheries and waterways for all. This was a much-needed challenge, and I’m thrilled that with the assistance of Commissioner Blankenship and his staff, a lot different good work is underway on the Alabama coast.

“We just announced more than $47 million in National Fish and Wildlife Foundation-funded projects for this area, and there’s so much more to come. It doesn’t take much to realize that Baldwin County is a big catch for our state’s tourism industry, and I fully expect that industry to grow even stronger after the opening of this boat ramp and pier. Commissioner Blankenship and I have cut ribbons at several boat ramps over the past few months, and I can’t think of a single place more beautiful or more historic than this public access site.”

This challenge was funded by Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) grants from the BP oil spill in 2010. The renovated pier is L-shaped with dimensions of 305 ft by 210 ft and 40 ft extensive. The pier flooring is 8 ft from the floor of the water at imply tide. The boat ramp has two lanes with adjoining docks, and the fishing pier additionally serves to guard the basin from siltation and storms. The facility is open 24 hours with free admission.

“I am very blessed to be the Commissioner of Conservation,” stated Commissioner Blankenship. “There are many issues we have to do within the state which can be priceless to our high quality of life in Alabama. Projects like the development of this pier and the renovation of the boat ramp by our Marine Resources Department are important to defending the waters and fisheries. We even have a governor who feels that outside recreation and entry to boating is essential.

“We’ve had ribbon cuttings throughout Governor Ivey’s time in workplace at Demopolis, Orange Beach, Camden, Oak Mountain State Park, Bon Secour, Grand Bay, Bayou La Batre and the Mobile Causeway for public initiatives for boat entry or public entry . And this isn’t the top. It’s just the start. There is extra to come back within the subsequent 4 years of Governor Ivey’s time period.”

(Outside Alabama/Billy Pope)

On a stormy day at Fort Morgan, Gov. Kay Ivey paid tribute to the late Rep. Steve McMillan’s service to Alabama. Photo by Billy Pope

Rep. McMillan’s twin brother, John, talked about how particular the Fort Morgan space is to their household.

“We had an aunt who had a cottage right on the beach,” says John McMillan, who throughout his public service profession was Conservation Commissioner, Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries and State Treasurer and now continues that public service at the pinnacle of the state’s Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission as its director. “There wasn’t a lot down right here then. We then did plenty of fishing and strolling on the seashores. The most memorable factor we did was stroll down the seaside to Fort Morgan and go to with Hatchett Chandler, the warden right here for quite a lot of years.

“We had cousins ​​who had houses on this peninsula. We spent a lot of our childhood down here fishing. Steve loved to fish. It is certainly a fitting recognition.”

Governor Ivey and Commissioner Blankenship have been capable of inform Rep. McMillan offered a decision on naming the Fort Morgan facility in his honor earlier than his dying.

“There is nothing you all could have done that he would have appreciated more because of the lifelong ties he had to Fort Morgan and this peninsula,” John McMillan stated.

The pier and boat ramp property is owned by the Alabama Historical Commission, which permitted the development of the brand new services on the location of the earlier pier, which was closed when it turned unsafe on account of age and storms from quite a few hurricanes and tropical storms. Because the brand new pier is positioned on a historic web site, particular guidelines utilized to the excavation of the world, which prolonged the development timeline.

“We worked through a lot of historic preservation issues at the site,” stated Commissioner Blankenship. “And now we can celebrate the culmination of that work.”

Dr. Alabama Historical Commission Chairman Jim Day expressed his appreciation to Governor Ivey for her help of historic preservation all through the state of Alabama. Day stated the Commission is grateful for the partnership with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to assist Rep. to honor McMillan.

“We are grateful to Steve McMillan and his family for their support of historic preservation and specifically Fort Morgan,” Day stated. “Mobile Point, the place we’re right this moment, has been a part of the coastal defenses of America for the reason that development of Fort Bowyer right here within the War of 1812. Construction of Fort Morgan was accomplished in 1834. Military occupations at Mobile Point embody the Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, and World War II.

“Troops stationed at Fort Morgan always needed recreation. Many quays, piers and docks have been built around the point over the years, supporting activities at the fort and serving as recreational opportunities for soldiers and their families. These structures were built for the transport of supplies, dock for watercraft, fishing for soldiers, sunbathing and a quarantine yard for the hospital. We are excited to have this pier renovated so that the public can enjoy and continue to experience the history here.”

Patrick Bussey of GUMBO (Gulf United Metro Business Organization), a coalition fashioned to advertise southern Baldwin County, stated Steve McMillan was his solely state consultant throughout his 35 years on the Alabama Gulf Coast, and it is becoming that he to be honored with the title of the pier and boat ramp.

“For my entire life down here, Steve has been our leader in Montgomery,” Bussey stated. “It is definitely an excellent service. Steve was a workhorse. If you went to Steve’s office, it was full of papers about projects he worked on on behalf of this district, this county and the entire state. Steve loved this Gulf Coast, and he worked hard to ensure that this resource was protected and used for the benefit of the people of the state of Alabama.”

Commissioner Blankenship stated 4 funding sources have been used to offer the $4.5 million wanted to finish the pier and boat ramp.

“That includes Sport Fish Restoration dollars and your fishing license dollars,” Commissioner Blankenship stated. “For NRDA approval and allowing, it concerned seven completely different federal businesses, six state businesses and others. Working by way of varied points with climate, materials shortages, historic preservation and many different challenges, it positive feels good to chop this ribbon.

“This facility will forever bear the name of Steve McMillan and will be a lasting testament to his dedication to southern Baldwin County.”

David Rainer is an award-winning writer who has lined Alabama’s outside for 25 years. The former outside editor at the Mobile Press-Register, he writes for Outdoor Alabama, the web site of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

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