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News Release
Todd Mize, SOBA President (left), Steve Meshke, Clatsop County Parks Director, and Mike Wichrowski, Past-President for SOBA
Todd Mize, SOBA President (left), Steve Meshke, Clatsop County Parks Director, and Mike Wichrowski, Past-President for SOBA
Clatsop County Honored with National Award for Westport Park Boating Facility Makeover (Photo) - 11/30/23

Clatsop County Parks received national recognition from the States Organization for Boating Access (SOBA) during its recent annual conference held in Tacoma, Washington. 

Clatsop County earned the coveted President’s Award, recognizing boating access projects that are innovative, high-quality, have unique features, and increase accessibility. 

The Oregon State Marine Board, in partnership with Clatsop County Parks, assisted with the design, permitting, and engineering services, in addition to contributing facility grant funding. Together, along with other partners, the Westport County Park Boating facility is first-rate and serves the needs of all boaters.

Back in 2007, Clatsop County had a vision for the park by turning it into a first-class mixed-use boating facility to meet growing needs in the community and to boost a broader tourism base. The process of completely redesigning boating access took serious commitment by the county, which spanned over a decade, evolving into multiple-phased plans for improving boating access. The site was identified as a high priority for grant funding by recreational boaters in the Marine Board’s 2011-2017 Statewide Boating Facilities Improvement Plan. 

Westport’s makeover includes an accessible nonmotorized boat dock with a 120 x 5-foot gangway to reduce the slope during low tide, making the docks more accessible for persons with mobility challenges. 

The gangway also connects to a short-term tie-up dock for motorized boaters. The facility boasts a new two-lane concrete boat ramp, aluminum boarding docks, flush restroom, large boat trailer and single car parking areas, day-use area, and a park host to ensure a safe atmosphere for boaters.

Funding amounts and partners include:

  • Marine Board Boating Facility Grant for $1,065,602 and Waterway Access Grant revenue for $93,274 
  • Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife Sport Fish Restoration Grant for $934,819
  • Federal Boating Infrastructure Grant for $270,423
  • Clatsop County Contribution for $880,770
  • Columbia River Yachting Association for $4,202
    Total Project Cost: $3,249,090

Westport was officially dedicated on February 1, 2022, and is the perfect gateway to the Columbia River for new and experienced boaters alike. The protective slough makes this an attractive location for beginning paddlers, and a safe tie-up for motorized boats.  

On November 8, Larry Warren, Marine Board Director, and Janine Belleque, Boating Facilities Program Manager/Past-President of SOBA, presented the award to the Clatsop County Commission. 

Learn more about the project history’s twists and turns, with before and after photos from the Marine Board’s Explore Westport blog and Clatsop County’s website; complete with a video of how to use the kayak launch. 



The Marine Board is directly funded by boaters in the form of registration, title, and permit fees, as well as marine fuel taxes. No lottery, general fund tax dollars or local facility parking fees support the agency or its programs. Revenue goes back to boaters in the form of grants for boating facility access, grants for on-water opportunities for paddlers, contracts for marine law enforcement services, safety education, and environmental stewardship. The agency also registers outfitter guides, charters, and boat rental businesses. For more information about the Marine Board and its programs, visit Boat.Oregon.gov.


About SOBA: Established in 1986, SOBA is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to improving access to waterways by promoting the public acquisition, development and maintenance of recreational boating facilities.