The all-volunteer Marine Emergency Team 21 will be able to fund a new rescue boat, thanks to a matched $50,000 state grant. Photo: MET21

Middle River Volunteer Team Gets $50K Grant for New Rescue Boat

A Batimore County all-volunteer marine rescue team is on its way to getting a new rescue boat, thanks to a $50,000 state grant.

Marine Emergency Team 21 (MET21), based in Bowleys Quarters near Middle River, received a Waterway Improvement Fund grant from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR). They’ll put it towards their next rescue vessel.

Maryland’s Waterway Improvement Fund was established in 1966 “for the purpose of funding projects which improve and promote the recreational and commercial capabilities, conditions and safety of Maryland’s waterways for the benefit of the general boating public,” according to DNR, and is often used by fire companies to purchase fireboats.

In the case of MET21, the 50/50 matched grant will fund almost half of their next rescue vessel. When the team chooses a manufacturer and the vessel is designed, MET21 will launch a capital campaign to raise the money needed for the rest of the boat.

MET21 is an all-volunteer unit that responds to all manner of emergencies, from the destructive fire at Great Oak Landing across the Bay in Chestertown to a two-boat collision Memorial Day weekend right in the team’s backyard of Bowleys Quarters. In all, they serve over 90 square miles of the upper Bay.

The rescue team has received Waterway Improvement Fund grants before, and Chief Shannon Stallings tells Bay Bulletin, “We have received the grant several times before and are grateful for the support of the state of Maryland.”

-Meg Walburn Viviano