WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, during a tour of Lake Mead, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) announced she had secured $32 million in disaster funding to address the effects of drought on recreation – closing boat ramps and hurting small businesses and the local economy. Senator Rosen visited local small businesses, and she was briefed by the Acting Superintendent of Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Mike Gauthier, on the status of the boat ramps and efforts to ensure they remain open as the summer boating season begins. Rosen has strongly opposed proposals to permanently close boat ramps at Lake Mead, and has urged the National Park Service and the Office of Management and Budget to use federal funds to address extreme drought conditions and avoid permanent boat ramp closures.
Las Vegas Review-Journal: Lake Mead to receive $32M in disaster relief funding for boat ramps
By Colton Lochhead
- More than $30 million in disaster recovery funding is coming to aid the boat ramps at Lake Mead, Nevada Sen. Jacky Rosen announced Monday.
- “For the last year, I’ve been hearing directly from businesses and families that are right here about how important the lake is,” Rosen said during an event at Hemenway Harbor on Monday morning. “This money that’s coming down is a direct result of those folks calling, sharing their worries and their hopes.”
- Bruce Nelson, director of operations at Lake Mead Marina in Hemenway Harbor, said those ramp closures have led to sharp drops in visitors and business for marina operators.
- Maintaining access for boaters is vital for not only businesses on the lake but also for those in Boulder City, Henderson and other surrounding gateway communities, Nelson said.
- “We rely on this water for more than just drinking water. It’s also for recreation and fun for many, many generations,” Nelson said.
By Ryan Matthey
- Lake Mead’s water level dropped to a historic low of 1,040.71 feet, or almost 14 feet lower than its current level, last summer. Members of the Gripentog Family, who purchased and have since operated the Las Vegas Boat Harbor in 1957, call the past two summers some of the most brutal for water and business.
- “The publicity was so bad that people thought there wasn’t any place to boat,” Betty said on the harbor’s deck Monday morning, reminiscing the past two summers. “People did not want to wait in line for three hours to launch a boat or get their boat out.”
- Her son, Bob Gripentog, who is now the harbor’s co-owner, said when the water’s down, customers don’t always stick around.
- Now, thanks to a $32 million award of disaster supplemental funding, work can be done to prepare for that next reversal of water. The U.S. Economic Development Administration describes these kinds of funds as assistance to “a wide variety of activities related to disaster recovery, including economic recovery strategic planning grants, and public works construction assistance.”
- Democratic Nevada Senator Jacky Rosen announced the award during a tour of the Hemenway Harbor launch Monday morning. She said she helped secure the $32 million after repeated letters to the National Park Service as Lake Mead reached its lowest recorded water level in late July 2022.
KVVU Las Vegas: Millions of dollars approved to keep Lake Mead’s boat ramps up
By Regina Ahn
- Senator Rosen met with a local business on Monday to tour Lake Mead. Millions of dollars of disaster supplemental funding will be used to help Lake Mead and its businesses keep afloat.
- “Businesses have reached out to me, like Lake Mead Harbor, Lake Mead Marina, and so many others to protect their business and tradition of enjoying the lake,” said Rosen. “When you think about the history of Nevada and all of these businesses and family traditions, it wasn’t hard for me to write these letters, to do whatever we need to keep the lake levels stable so that people can enjoy the natural beauty, see the stars, be with family, and maybe unplug a little bit.”
- In 2022, Rosen said she wrote to the Director of National Park Services, asking him to deliver federal emergency funding to address the boat ramp closures. In 2021, Lake Mead closed boat ramps due to declining water levels which hurt businesses.
- Federal funding to address the impact of drought on Lake Mead’s tourism economy will soon make its way to Nevada’s coffers.
- Rosen has been at the forefront of the effort to secure additional federal dollars to address the impact of declining lake levels on tourism at Lake Mead.
- Rosen opposed an NPS proposal to close boat ramps at the lake as a possible drought mitigation effort, a press release from her office states.
- U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-Nevada, announced new federal funding will help keep boat ramps open at Lake Mead this summer.
- “When local businesses at Lake Mead reached out to my office with concerns about how boat ramp closures were hurting them, I took action right away to get these ramps reopened and secure the funding needed to keep them open.”