Vote Clears the Way for New Adaptive Boating Center

Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating (CRAB) is celebrating a victory this week in Annapolis.

A rendering of the planned Adaptive Boating Center.

Monday night the city voted unanimously to take ownership of a marina property on Back Creek to allow CRAB to secure funding for a new Adaptive Boating Center.

CRAB is a nonprofit that serves guests with disabilities, including wounded warriors, as well as at-risk children, allowing them to get out on the water and sail. The group owns a fleet of specially-equipped sailboats that can be skippered by someone who is wheelchair-bound.

CRAB has sailed out of Sandy Point State Park for years, but special events and crowding often limit their access to the launch spot.

City Council Members Rob Savidge, Elly Tierney, Ross Arnett, and Marc Rodriguez sponsored a resolution calling for the City to own the property and enter into a long-term lease with CRAB to operate and maintain the facility. Five votes were needed for the resolution to pass, but it was unanimous, at 8-0.

The City Council’s vote will allow Annapolis to move forward with a Program Open Space application from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, explains Brad LaTour, CRAB’s President of the Board of Directors.

“CRAB is very grateful to Mayor Gavin Buckley and the Annapolis City Council for voting unanimously in favor to have the city own the property for CRAB’s Adaptive Boating Center…Tonight was a big win for CRAB’s special guests with disabilities, wounded warriors, and local children from at-risk communities being able to enjoy the premier adaptive boating center in the country,” LaTour tells Bay Bulletin.

CRAB supporters point out that ownership of the Adaptive Boating Center will be at no cost to the City, much like the long-term lease the City has with the Annapolis Maritime Museum’s two properties.

Construction on the marina site would likely begin late this year or early next year, as the project is still going through approvals and permitting. 

-Meg Walburn Viviano