A new Proclamation from Maryland Governor Larry Hogan sends a message of support for handicapped-accessible boating. Governor Hogan has declared June 2018 as Adaptive Boating Month.
The Proclamation was presented to Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating (CRAB) President Brad LaTour by Maryland Department of Disabilities Assistant Secretary Bill Frank. The Proclamation reads, in part, “Whereas, Maryland strives to introduce and encourage all Marylanders with disabilities to actively take part in enjoying the beauty of the Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in the country…”
The CRAB organization is based in Annapolis and provides boating access to people with disabilities including wounded warriors, and also to children from at-risk communities. CRAB held its 20th annual Don Backe Memorial Regatta at the Annapolis Yacht Club on Saturday. The regatta is for skippers with disabilities and features CRAB’s specially modified fleet of Beneteau First 22A’s (A for adaptive). Bay Bulletin reported on the Beneteau fleet here. As mentioned in the Proclamation, CRAB hopes to create “a premier Adaptive Boating Center…to expand its operations and greatly increase the number of special guests it serves without limitations on operations or boating.”
The state Department of Disabilities backs CRAB’s goal. Says Secretary Frank, “It is very important to all persons of disabilities to have access to our state’s greatest natural resource. CRAB is making it possible for thousands of persons to enjoy sailing on the Bay and we should do everything possible to support its mission and programs.”
CRAB is working with the State, Anne Arundel County, and the City of Annapolis to use Program Open Space funding to buy a marina in Annapolis for an Adaptive Boating Center’s home base.
LaTour says, “Annapolis can call itself the ‘Sailing Capital of the United States,’ but until it has facilities accessible by persons with disabilities, it only will be the sailing capital for the able and affluent.”
To learn more, please contact CRAB at 410-266-5722 or [email protected].
-Meg Walburn Viviano