Interagency Military Pass waives day-use fees at
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recreation sites nationwide
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) announced it will continue to accept the America the Beautiful Federal Recreation Pass Program’s Interagency Annual Pass for Military (Military Pass) at its more than 2,500 USACE-managed recreation areas nationwide.
Initiated last year, service men and women - Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, and activated National Guard and Reserves, and their dependents who present the Interagency Military Pass will receive a fee waiver to USACE-managed day-use areas (boat launches and swimming areas). The Military Pass, which is free, may be obtained in person at U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service facilities. Additional information on the Military Pass can be found at http://store.usgs.gov/pass/military.html . Information on the Federal Recreation Pass Program for the general public is available at http://store.usgs.gov/pass/general.html.
Military members and their dependents may also present a Department of the Defense Identification Card or Common Access Card (CAC) to receive the day-use fee waiver at USACE-managed day-use areas.
Several Corps-managed recreation areas in Florida continue to participate in the program: W.P. Franklin North Campground and Day Use Area, W.P. Franklin South Day Use Area, Ortona North Day Use Area, Ortona South Campground and St. Lucie South Campground and Day Use Area.
Service members and their families can take advantage of the day-use fee waivers at several locations within the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District. For those who enjoy boating, there are three Corps boat ramps along the Caloosahatchee River, including the Ortona Lock & Dam North Recreation Area and the W.P. Franklin Lock & Dam North and South Recreation Areas. The W.P Franklin Lock & Dam South Recreation Area also features a visitor center with interactive exhibits and a swimming beach with a manatee sculpture where children can climb and play. Those who live on the east side of Lake Okeechobee can use the boat ramp and visitors center at the St. Lucie Lock & Dam Recreation Area.
The day-use fee waiver for active and reserve component service members and their families on will include:
· W.P. Franklin North boat ramp $3 boat ramp fee
· W.P. Franklin South Recreation Area $3 boat ramp fee; $1 swimming beach fee
· Ortona North Recreation Area $3 boat ramp fee
· St. Lucie South Recreation Area $3 boat ramp fee
“May is National Water Safety month and a good time to remind people that wherever you choose to recreate, please remember to check your safety equipment before water activities and always wear a life jacket,” said Adam Tarplee, natural resource program manager. “Have fun and be safe!”
“If you visit us at St Lucie, Ortona or W.P. Franklin please don't hesitate to speak with one of our park rangers if you have any questions,” said Tarplee. “Remember that we have free loaner life jackets available on a first come-first serve basis at our recreation areas to ensure you have a safe visit while boating or just swimming.”
For information on the W.P. Franklin Lock and Dam Recreation Area in Alva, call 239-694-2582. To find out more about the St. Lucie Recreation Area in Stuart, call 772-219-4575. Additional information can be found online at http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/Recreation.aspx.
In a separate effort, USACE will continue to waive camping fees for active duty military members and their dependents on mid- or post-deployment leave from duty in a hostile fire zone to include Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and other deployments to support Overseas Contingency Operations. To qualify for a camping fee waiver at a USACE-managed campground, a member or dependent must present the Interagency Military Pass or CAC and a copy of their mid- or post-deployment (reintegration) leave orders. Camping fees are waived on a walk-up and space available basis, as well as for reservations made through the National Recreation Reservation Service call center at 1-877-444-6777. However, fees will not be waived for on-line reservations made through the on-line Recreation.gov Web site.
Acceptance of USACE fee waivers is encouraged, but not required, at the more than 1,800 nationwide recreation areas managed by other entities on USACE lands.
"Our military service members and their families sacrifice so much for our country. The waiver of day-use fees at USACE lakes and recreation areas will make it easier and more affordable for them to get to the great outdoors with their families and relax," said Maj. Gen. Michael J. Walsh, USACE Deputy Commanding General for Civil and Emergency Operations.
USACE is the nation’s largest federal provider of outdoor recreation, managing more than 420 lake and river projects in 43 states and hosting more than 370 million visits per year. With 90 percent of these recreation areas within 50 miles of metropolitan areas they provide a diverse range of outdoor activities close to home and to people of all ages. For more information on USACE recreation sites and activities, visit www.CorpsLakes.us.