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NMB City Council to hold workshop to improve congestion by Cherry Grove ramps

Published: Nov. 16, 2021 at 5:51 PM EST
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - More boaters, more kayaks, more problems. North Myrtle Beach City Council says now’s the time to fix the congestion by the Cherry Grove ramps.

Each year more boaters, fishermen and kayakers are using the boat ramp and kayak ramp in Cherry Grove. North Myrtle Beach City Council is looking at ways to improve the congestion and make sure everyone can be treated equally on the water.

“We got to do something to better manage the traffic out there so fishermen and fisherwomen can launch their boats from the ramp and not be excluded,” said North Myrtle Beach spokesperson Pat Dowling.

Currently, several kayak businesses, boaters and fishermen all use the Cherry Grove ramps. Those who work at the kayak businesses say they’ve seen the sport grow a great deal over the years.

Part of that increase is because more people are visiting South Carolina. Some say during the tourist season the amount of congestion can be just too much.

“Boats are not really bad at all, but the kayaks, there’s like hundreds and hundreds of them every day, and they get in the way of the boaters really,” said Ocean Drive resident Scott Tysinger.

Others agree there’s mutual respect on the water.

“What I’ve seen it was all fine. Everybody paid attention to each other and got out of each other’s way and just honored their space on the water,” said Chuck Berry, a North Myrtle Beach resident.

Kayak businesses are even being proactive by communicating with each other. The owner of J and L Kayaking, Justin Summerall, says he works with other businesses to schedule kayak launches from the ramp 15-20 minutes apart from each other to stop congestion. They also try to limit kayak group sizing and tell their guests to steer clear of boats.

“We don’t want to be out there having a negative image, we want to be a positive image. We want the fisherman to know that we want to provide that courtesy for them, give them a wide birth around their boats and things like that. And we want to hear what they have to say so we can find that common ground with each other and everybody can go out there and get along,” said Summerall.

City council says they hope they can think of ideas that will benefit the tourists, locals and encourage the growth of kayaking.

Many people said on Tuesday that they’re eager to hear what the council comes up with at the workshop which will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday.

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