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Ribbon cut on Selma Landing renovation

The Selma Landing has recently been inoperable.

The Alabama River runs by Selma.
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A partnership of conservation groups, state agencies, the city and private groups cut the ribbon Tuesday on a new boat launch, docks and a tournament pavilion in Selma, providing an enhanced venue for recreational activities, fishing tournaments and other uses in Alabama’s Black Belt.

Partners that contributed to the projects include the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR), Innovate Alabama, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the Alabama Wildlife Federation (AWF), B.A.S.S., Alabama Power, ALA-TOM RC&D Councils, and the City of Selma.

The Selma Landing has been inoperable due to siltation buildup in the landing basin. Boats could not get in and out of the landing as a result. Funds provided by ADCNR and ADEM were used to remove the silt from the basin and install new floating docks.

“The many wonderful partners for this project show what can be achieved when people and organizations join forces to work together,” said ADCNR Commissioner Chris Blankenship. “I also appreciate Innovate Alabama’s invaluable contributions to help make our vision of upgrading boating access facilities throughout Alabama a reality. That access is crucial to connecting our citizens and guests to our state’s beautiful waterways.”

ADEM Director Lance LeFleur said his department was pleased to be able to help with the project.

“This project provides multiple benefits to the region, including making water recreational activities more accessible to both area residents and visitors,” LeFleur said. “Plus, it’s always great to be able to partner with other agencies and groups that are committed to taking positive steps to improve the environment.”

Tim Wood, AWF’s first vice president from Selma, worked closely with ADCNR on this project. After work was well under way, Wood and the AWF identified the benefit of having a pavilion at the Selma Landing that could be used with local and regional fishing tournaments and ultimately promote tourism and recreational spending in the area.

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“The Black Belt region of our state is home to some of the best hunting and fishing in the entire Southeast,” Wood said. “Through supporting this region’s already bountiful wildlife and natural beauty with much-needed infrastructure and resources such as those we are cutting the ribbon on today, more outdoor enthusiasts will have the opportunity to enjoy the tremendous benefits the Black Belt has to offer.”

AWF, Alabama Power, B.A.S.S., and the ALA-TOM RC&D Council teamed up to help make the tournament pavilion a reality.

ALA-TOM RC&D Chairman and Washington County Probate Judge Nick Williams said the project will affect more than just Selma.

“We are pleased to participate in the upgrades of the Selma Landing and join the other grantors in this project,” Williams said. “This is not only a benefit for the people of Selma and Dallas County, but for all of the Black Belt. We also want to thank Sen. Robert Stewart and Rep. Prince Chestnut for their support of ALA-TOM RCD, which allows us to fund worthy projects like the Selma Landing.”

Private partners in this project also weighed in on what this public-private partnership will mean to the Black Belt region.

“We are excited to be a part of enhancing this access point on the beautiful Alabama River in Selma,” said Leslie Sanders, Alabama Power vice president of Southern Division. “This is our fourth collaboration with B.A.S.S. to ensure these improved facilities have pavilions and quality infrastructure for fish care during fishing tournaments. Thanks to all the other partners for helping enhance eco-tourism right here in Alabama’s Black Belt.”

Selma Mayor James Perkins said he hopes the renovations and new pavilion will have a positive impact on Selma’s economy.

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“Selma, in addition to our rich history, has some of the best outdoor recreational opportunities in the state of Alabama,” said Perkins. “But without access to those opportunities, it makes it difficult to attract people here to use them and, in turn, contribute to our local economy. Our hope is that the renovations to the Selma Landing and this new pavilion will bring people far and wide to Selma to enjoy our amazing God-given gifts and beautiful outdoors.”

Scott Meister, USFWS BIG Program Director – Southeast Region, said the project will connect waterways with the local community and all Selma has to offer.

“The Fish & Wildlife Service is excited for the opportunities the Selma Landing and Transient Docks will provided to transient boaters along the Alabama River and surrounding waterways,” said Meister. “The extensive renovations have resulted in a safe, comfortable facility that provides convenient access to the City of Selma. This project will allow the city to attract and accommodate larger -size recreational vessels, connecting the waterways with the local community and all Selma has to offer.”

The Alabama Political Reporter is a daily political news site devoted to Alabama politics. We provide accurate, reliable coverage of policy, elections and government.

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