Boat owners who use Buzzard Point Marina in Southwest are forming an owner’s association to lobby the National Park Service to reverse its decision to shutter the marina at the end of the year.
Last week, the 58 residents who keep their boats at the marina were told that they needed to vacate the docks by December 31. In response, Fred Mashack, who has docked his boat at Buzzard Point for 15 years, decided to try to organize his fellow boat owners and other community members to ask the Park Service to reconsider its decision.
“We want to do whatever it takes to help keep the marina open,” Mashack said. “We have to create enough interest that more people start using the marina and we can turn this thing around.”
The association, which was launched earlier this week, is still in its earliest stages. Mashack said he is going to spend the weekend at the marina recruiting other owners. For now, the association has a website where boat owners and other community members can sign on to show their support.
The Park Service decided to close the marina because the renovations and modernization that the marina needed were too expensive. Mashack said he understands where they’re coming from, but noted that less ambitious renovations might be possible if the association is able to encourage more interest in the marina and find people interested in docking their boats in the marina’s few empty spaces.
“It’s almost been a hidden treasure up until now, but now it’s at the point where we have to start getting more interest in the marina and get more boats in there,” he said. “The Park Services have a point: there’s not enough money to repair and modernize the marina, but the boat owners don’t really care about modernization as long as we can use the marina.”
Mashack says he hopes the association can gather community support for keeping the marina open and use it to pressure the Park Service to reconsider its decision.
“If we have enough people showing interest on the website, we could use that as a tool to say there is support here,” he said. “If we get enough people, we can talk to the Park Service and say work with us, don’t close it down.”
Photo via Google Maps