Biden Administration awards over $21M for boating infrastructure

Last month, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced the agency’s Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) program will provide more than $21 million in grant funding for 21 states to construct, renovate, and maintain marinas and other boating facilities for waterway access.

Under the BIG program, more than $4.4 million will fund projects in 18 states under the BIG Tier 1 subprogram, and $17 million in grants will be awarded competitively for projects in 12 states under the BIG Tier 2 subprogram. States receiving BIG grants include Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

“BIG funds benefit local communities and waterways and the recreational boaters who enjoy them,” said USFWS director Martha Williams. “These grants provide opportunities for boating and fishing while improving economies in local communities, offering easy access to waterfronts and much-needed facilities.” USFWS estimates the funding will provide 187 new slips and berths as well as 7,768 linear feet of additional side-tie docking space, and amenities such as fuel docks and showers benefitting the transient recreational boating public.

Funding for the BIG program comes from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund (Trust Fund), a voluntary user pay system created by recreational boaters and anglers in 1950 to pay for critical conservation programs and recreational boating infrastructure projects. Grantees use BIG funds to construct, renovate and maintain marinas and other facilities with features for transient boats (those staying 15 days or less), that are 26 feet or more in length, and used for recreation. Grantees may also use funds to produce and distribute information and educational materials about the program and recreational boating.

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