WASHINGTON – More than $9.5 million has been awarded to nine states through the competitive Boating Infrastructure Grants program, Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne said in a press release today.
The grants are made available to state agencies and partners to build and maintain facilities for recreational boaters.
“The BIG program works with partners to improve recreational boating and fishing opportunities,” Kempthorne said. “It strengthens community ties to the water’s edge by enhancing access to recreational, historic, cultural, natural and scenic resources for millions of boat owners. We understand the importance of having safe and accessible tie-up facilities and many communities are experiencing new businesses and a rejuvenated hometown spirit as a result of this program.”
The funds are awarded through a competitive selection process and the annual requests for funds greatly exceed available funding. The Service received 32 proposals from 19 states requesting a total of $22.8 million of federal funding.
Highlights of the funded proposals include:
Alaska – The Alaska Department of Fish and Game, in cooperation with the City of Whittier, the Whittier Boat Owners Association and others will receive $1.5 million and provide a match of more than $2 million to develop overnight moorage facilities for boaters in Prince William Sound at the Whittier Harbor Transient Boat Moorage. Partners plan to construct 15 new visiting moorage floats that will provide docking space for 30 visiting boats, as well as providing boaters with electrical and potable water services.
California – The California Department of Boating and Waterways, in cooperation with Fifth Avenue Landing, LLC, will receive $1,277,797 million and match more than $1 million to develop visiting boating facilities at the Fifth Avenue Landing in San Diego. The proposed project will accommodate up to 66 visiting boats and will provide boaters with electricity, water and telecommunication services.
Florida – The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, in cooperation with the City of Clearwater, will receive $1,236,097 and match nearly $4 million to construct visiting boating facilities in downtown Clearwater. The proposed project will provide 2,600 linear feet of temporary docking facilities for visiting boaters and 12 fixed slips.
Iowa – The Iowa Department of Natural Resources, in cooperation with the City of Dubuque and the Dubuque Racing Association, will receive $3,037,802 and match more than $1 million to develop visiting boating facilities in downtown Dubuque on the Mississippi River. The proposed project will construct 92 slips for visiting boaters. Also, the Department, in cooperation with the City of Guttenberg and other partners, will receive $451,709 and match more than $250,000 to develop a marina providing visiting boating slips on the Mississippi River.
Michigan – The Michigan Department of Natural Resources, in cooperation with the City of Trenton, will receive $582,315 and match nearly $200,000 to develop floating docks for visiting boaters at Black Lagoon. The proposed project will construct a floating dock system with 31 slips for visiting boats on the Detroit River, including electrical and water services.
New Jersey – The New Jersey Department of Transportation, in cooperation with the City of Belmar and others, will receive $295,815 and match more than $100,000 to develop restroom facilities for visiting boaters. The proposed project will incorporate restroom facilities for recreational boaters to complement an existing Boating Infrastructure Grant program project being completed with funds from a previous year.
North Carolina – The North Carolina Department of Environmental and Natural Resources, in cooperation with the town of Morehead City and the Downtown Morehead City Revitalization Association, will receive $310,268 and match nearly $700,000 to develop new slips for visiting boaters. The proposed project will construct 10 new slips to provide safe harbor for visiting boaters as well as providing access to downtown Morehead City. Also, the Department, in cooperation with the City of Washington, will receive $200,000 and match more than $100,000 to develop docks for visiting boaters.
Oregon – The Oregon State Marine Board, in cooperation with the City of Toledo, Lincoln County, Siletz Confederated Tribe, Toledo Development Association, Yaquina Bay Yacht Club, Oregon Economic Community Development and others, will receive $380,000 and match nearly $300,000 to develop new visiting boat tie up facilities on the historic waterfront of Toledo. The proposed facilities include 9 slips and 170 linear feet of docking for visiting boaters on the Oregon coast.
Virginia – The Virginia Department of Health, in cooperation with the City of Hampton and the Downtown Hampton Development Partnership, will receive $246,000 and match nearly $400,000 to construct additional visiting boating facilities in the downtown of Hampton, near the mouth of Chesapeake Bay. The proposed project includes one-time maintenance dredging of the Hampton River for boater access, the construction of an additional floating dock to provide mooring for 24 additional visiting boaters and the construction of permanent restroom facilities.
Money for the BIG program comes from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, formerly known as the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund, which is supported by excise taxes on certain fishing and boating equipment and on boat fuels.
The BIG program has two levels of funding, labeled Tier I and Tier II. Tier II grants are the larger competitive grants highlighted above. Under the Tier I portion, all states and territories can receive up to $100,000 to construct or improve docking facilities for visiting (short term, non-trailerable boats) without competing against other proposals.
Grants totaling $3,726,178 were also made available to 38 states as part of this year’s distribution under Tier I.
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