Legislators Take Up Boat Ramps, Swimming and Invasive Species Bills

Apr 22, 2019

N.H. senators are considering a number of bills regarding the environment and access to public waters Tuesday at the State House.
Credit Dan Tuohy / NHPR

State legislators will vote in committee Tuesday on a handful of bills expanding recreational access and funding for public waters.

One bill up for a vote in the House Fish & Game committee would set up a pilot program to allow swimming at five water bodies with public boat ramps.

The proposal stems from a debate over one such pond in Ossipee, where residents want to swim alongside non-motorized boats.

Legislators will also vote on a bill that would require state agencies to plan a new boat launch and parking for Hilton Park on Great Bay in Dover.

Both these bills have passed the Senate.

A Senate committee is also taking public input Tuesday on some related bills that have already passed the House.

One would require boat ramps to offer new tools for cleaning pollution and invasive species off vessels, and require boat owners to use them.

Another bill would increase a range of fees on wetland and shore land development to help sustain state permitting programs.