Ribbon cutting held for Selma Marina dredging

Published 10:05 am Wednesday, July 10, 2024

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A ribbon-cutting ceremony took place on Tuesday for a new boating access facility and pavilion in Selma at Marina Drive. 

Selma Mayor James Perkins Jr. and Alabama Wildlife Federation first vice president Tim Wood celebrated a partnership that includes the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Innovate Alabama, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, AWF, B.A.S.S., Alabama Power, the Alabama Association of Resource Conservation and Development Councils and the City of Selma. 

The Selma Landing was not operable because of a build-up in the landing basin. Boats could not get in and out of the landing. Funds provided through the many partners were used to remove the silt from the basin and install new floating docks. Wood played a leading role in making it happen. The marina was dredged and docking systems were put in place. 

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“The project has been going on for two years and we finally finished it,” Wood said. “The marina and Alabama River are very important to Selma. We had a lot of people step up.”

Perkins thanked the Selma City Council, ADCNR, Innovate Alabama, ADEM, USFWS, AWF, B.A.S.S., Alabama Power and ALA-TOM RC&D Councils for their roles in dredging the Alabama River.

“I appreciate the support of everyone needed for the project,” Perkins said. “Tim Wood called me and said he had an idea and vision. This represents economic development for our community. We have an opportunity to do something special.”

ADCNR commissioner Chris Blankenship said Wood brought the idea of the Selma Marina and they took the challenge. 

State Sen. Robert Stewart, D-Selma, praised the ADCNR for coming through with finances for the Queen City.

ADEM director Lance LeFleur said the Marina and Alabama River are underrated across the state.

“The Alabama River is a tremendous resource to the area,’ LeFleur said. “It hasn’t reached its full potential in bringing people into the area.”

ALA-TOM RC&D Councils chairman Nick Williams said Selma isn’t mentioned enough in the region. 

“We don’t hear enough about Selma,” Williams said. “We need to hear more good things about Selma.”

Alabama Power Southern Division vice president Leslie Sanders said it took a combination of political figures, businesses, and private people to make this happen. 

Scott Meister, USFWS BIG program director of the southeast region, said the project will connect waterways with the local community.

“The Fish & Wildlife Service is excited for the opportunities the Selma Landing and Transient Docks will provide 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.”

Selma City Councilmen Clay Carmichael and Sam Randolph attended the ceremony.