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Inland Water Access

Virginia's large lakes provide a myriad of recreational opportunities, including power boating, sailing and water skiing. The 2006 VOS measured more than 20 million annual activity days of demand for the combined fresh water activities. This represents a dramatic increase in use from that reported in the 2000 survey. Historically, a majority of the public's recreational access to rivers and streams has been informal, consisting primarily of road rights-of-way at bridge crossings and some access across private lands with owner permission. In the past, these informal sites, in combination with facilities provided by DGIF and others, were adequate to satisfy the demand. However, dramatic increases in use during the last few years, coupled with the loss of a number of key informal access sites, has resulted in increased crowding in some areas and diminished use of other key stream segments. There is a need for a formal program that identifies, acquires, develops and manages inland public water access sites.