The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced more than $12.2 million in competitive grants to 10 states for projects to support recreational boating through the service’s Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) program. The service will also release approximately $2 million in grants to 21 states willing to match a smaller program within BIG.
Grantees use BIG funds to construct, renovate and maintain marinas and other facilities with features for transient boats (those staying 10 days or less) that are 26 feet or more in length and used for recreation. Grantees also may use funds to produce and distribute information and educational materials about the program and recreational boating.
“Not only do these grants help create safe and accessible tie-up facilities, they provide an economic boost for local communities across the nation,” said Service Director Dan Ashe. “The BIG program works with partners to improve recreational boating and fishing opportunities. It strengthens community ties by enhancing access to recreational, historic, cultural, natural and scenic resources for millions of boat owners.”
The BIG program includes two funding tiers, Tier One (competitive in some states) and Tier Two (nationally competitive). Under Tier One each state, the District of Columbia and insular areas may receive funding for eligible projects up to $100,000 annually. Tier Two funds, up to $1.5 million annually per project, are made available through a nationally competitive process.
“State agencies ensure the success of the BIG program by bringing matching funds to the table for these projects,” said Hannibal Bolton, the service’s assistant director for the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program. “In the past three years, states and their partners have supplied more than $50 million in matching funds to construct new transient boating infrastructure.”
Funding for the BIG program comes from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, which boaters and manufacturers support through excise and other taxes on certain fishing and boating equipment and gasoline.
The 21 projects receiving Tier One grants are:
- Arizona – $100,000
- Colorado – $100,000
- Georgia – $100,000
- Hawaii – $100,000
- Indiana – $100,000
- Maine – $100,000
- Maryland – $100,000
- Michigan – $100,000
- Mississippi – $100,000
- Missouri – $100,000
- New Jersey – $99,870
- North Carolina – $32,000
- Ohio – $100,000
- Oregon – $100,000
- Pennsylvania – $100,000
- Rhode Island – $100,000
- South Carolina – $63,921
- Vermont – $100,000
- Virginia – $99,648
- Washington – $100,000
- Wisconsin – $100,000
The 18 projects receiving the Tier Two competitive grants include.
Transient Boater Facility, City of St. Petersburg, Florida
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will support the City of St. Petersburg in its efforts to redevelop a portion of the city’s waterfront. The project includes construction of a transient dock at the St. Petersburg Marina, with space for up to 25 boats. This improved public access will support public recreation and tourism and the positive economic benefits they bring to area businesses.
Federal funds requested: $632,000; Non-federal match: $357,000; Total: $989,000
Harbor View Marina Transient Slips, City of Pensacola, Florida
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will support Harbor View Marina located on Bayou Chico to develop a facility for use by eligible transient recreational boaters. The marina will develop nine new transient slips, including six with 50-amp electrical service and three with 30-amp service, all of which will be available to the boating public. These slips will provide dockage for eligible transient boaters traveling the Intracoastal Waterway, giving them access to historic downtown Pensacola and a variety of other land-based attractions.
Federal funds requested: $220,120; Non-federal match: $81,840; Total: $301,960
City Marina Dinghy Docks, City of Fort Pierce, Florida
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation will assist the City of Fort Pierce with design and construction of a dinghy dock that would serve traveling boaters, providing access to supplies as well as other cultural and historic attractions in the city. Despite a large publicly owned marina and projected increase in the number of cruising boaters in the area, Fort Pierce does not have a dinghy dock. The proposed dock will enable boaters traveling the Intracoastal Waterway to safely access all the various amenities the city has to offer.
Federal funds requested: $190,688; Non-federal match: $235,037; Total: $425,725
Transient Boater Facility, Owensboro, Kentucky
Although the need for additional transient boating facilities throughout the Ohio River Valley is great, infrastructure is especially needed between Louisville and Paducah to help serve traveling boaters navigating the Great Loop. The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources will help the City of Owensboro address this need by constructing 500 linear feet of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-accessible dock space for eligible users. This facility will also help to establish Owensboro as a destination port and help provide an economic lift to the city and its businesses.
Federal funds requested: $1,500,000; Non-federal match: $3,252,542; Total: $4,752,542
58 Fore Street Marina Redevelopment, Portland, Maine
The Maine Department of Transportation will support the replacement and enhancement of existing marina facilities at Portland Yacht Services, a private marina. The project seeks to add a total of 61 new slips for use by the transient boating public. With the addition of a new dinghy dock, wave attenuators and upgraded utilities, this project seeks to help establish Portland as a significant destination for cruising boaters.
Federal funds requested: $1,500,000; Non-federal match: $5,352,348; Total: $6,852,348
Visiting Transient Boater Project, Newburyport, Massachusetts
The Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game will help the City of Newburyport renovate and develop existing facilities for transient recreational boaters piloting larger vessels. The project includes construction of a restroom facility with showers and laundry, an information and customer service counter, a covered breezeway and an ADA-accessible ramp. A dinghy dock and six moorings will be re-designated for use solely by eligible transient boaters.
Federal funds requested: $448,059; Non-federal match: $289,833; Total: $737,892
Solomon Jacob’s Park Transient Boating Facilities, Gloucester, Massachusetts
The Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game will help the City of Gloucester and partners meet a longstanding need to provide visiting transient boaters with access to the cultural, historic and recreational resources and services the city has to offer. The project includes the addition of 349 linear feet of new dockage for dinghies, overnight transient slips and day slips. These publically accessible facilities will open up to traveling boaters the numerous attractions in the city, as well as the Massachusetts North Shore region and Boston.
Federal funds requested: $263,930; Non-federal match: $263,975; Total: $527,905
Reed Park Transient Boating Improvements, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts
The Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game will help the Town of Manchester-by-the-Sea construct a new ramp and floating dock system for 10 transient recreational vessels at Reed Park (also known as “Peoples’ Park”). Funding for this project is needed to alleviate a significant shortage of accommodations for visitors to the town and throughout the Massachusetts North Shore region. The town currently has no overnight dock space for cruising boaters, so this project will open the region’s cultural, historic and scenic resources to these visitors.
Federal funds requested: $360,222; Non-federal match: $139,513; Total: $499,735
Somers Point Transient Marina, City of Somers Point, New Jersey
The New Jersey Department of Transportation will assist the City of Somers Point with construction of a 20-slip floating dock for use by transient recreational boaters. Somers Point is a waterfront community situated on a peninsula formed by Great Egg Harbor Bay and Patcong Creek, near Ocean City, N.J. The proposed facility is part of a larger economic revitalization effort focused on the Bay Avenue area of Somers Point.
Federal funds requested: $1,448,499; Non-federal Match: $578,527; Total: $2,027,026
Sheltered Cove Marina Transient Dock Replacement, Tuckerton, New Jersey
The New Jersey Department of Transportation will assist Sheltered Cove Marina with replacement of a dock that has deteriorated after more than 30 years of use. The facility was further damaged during Hurricane Sandy in October 2012. The marina will remove the existing dock and install a new floating dock system meeting current design standards, which will accommodate up to 30 transient recreational boaters. The facility serves boaters traveling the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway at the southern end of Barnegat Bay in coastal New Jersey.
Federal funds requested: $113,253; Non-federal match: $63,706; Total: $176,959
Bohicket Marina Expansion, Seabrook Island, South Carolina
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources will support expansion of transient boating facilities at Bohicket Marina, along the north side of Seabrook Island at Bohicket Creek. The project includes addition of 768 linear feet of new side-tie transient docks, 538 linear feet of space for day dockage, plus an additional 258 of dock space for accommodating larger vessels. In-slip fueling, upgraded utilities and other boater amenities are also included in the project. Bohicket Marina is conveniently located with access to the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.
Federal funds requested: $833,120; Non-federal match: $460,064; Total: $1,293,184
Port Royal Landing Marina Transient Facilities, Port Royal, South Carolina
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources will assist the Port Royal Marina with replacement of existing transient slips and a fuel dock, as well as construction of new docks for eligible public use. A total of 650 linear feet of dock space will be replaced and added, along with updated utilities and fueling equipment. The marina is situated along the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, an ideal location for supporting the transient recreational boating public.
Federal funds requested: $324,109; Non-federal match: $333,819; Total: $657,928
Transient Day Dock Development, City of Beaufort, South Carolina
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources will assist the City of Beaufort with installation of a day dock at the Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park for use by eligible transient recreational boaters. The 200-foot floating dock will provide convenient shore access as well as fueling and sewage pump-out services to eligible boaters using the adjacent mooring field, which was funded in part through the BIG program in 2013.
Federal funds requested: $168,000; Non-federal match: $92,667; Total: $260,667
Whitman Hollow Marina Transient Dock, LaFollette, Tennessee
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency will support the construction of a new floating dock for the use and enjoyment of eligible transient boaters in Norris Reservoir’s Big Creek area. This reservoir, created in 1936 by the Tennessee Valley Authority, is a 34,200-acre impoundment of the Clinch and Powell rivers. The partners propose to build 24 covered slips with shore power, dockside communications, restrooms and other amenities for boaters.
Federal funds requested: $350,000; Non-federal match: $350,000; Total: $700,000
Pelican Rest Marina Transient Slips, Galveston, Texas
The Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife will assist Pelican Rest Marina with construction of 36 new slips that will be designated for transient recreational boaters. The marina is located on Galveston Island, a regional yachting hub and year-round stopover for transient boaters traveling the Intracoastal Waterway.
Federal funds requested: $1,189,440; Non-federal Match: $669,060; Total: $1,858,500
Gray’s Creek Marina Transient Slips, Surrey County, Virginia
The Virginia Department of Health will support efforts of Surrey County to provide a transient boating facility at the site of the former Gray’s Creek Marina, located on a tributary to the historic James River. The facility will provide 40 slips designated for transient boaters, as well as a fueling station, sanitary waste handling, and a bathhouse with showers. The planned marina will offer these critical services to boaters traveling between Richmond and the Chesapeake Bay.
Federal funds requested: $1,392,985; Non-federal match: $2,058,743; Total: $3,451,728
Transient Float Replacement, City of Port Angeles, Washington
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources Office of Recreation and Conservation will assist the City of Port Angeles to replace 16 transient slips removed from the City Pier in 2013 due to deterioration and safety hazards. The City Pier at Port Angeles offers transient boaters access to the Strait of Juan de Fuca and will provide dock space for eligible boaters piloting vessels up to 80 feet in length.
Federal funds requested: $268,575; Non-federal match: $96,053; Total: $364,628
Point Hudson Jetty Replacement, City of Port Townsend, Washington
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources Office of Recreation and Conservation will assist the City of Port Townsend to construct a new breakwater at Point Hudson Marina. Proposed improvements will help the city maintain 51 transient slips that serve boaters traveling between Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The existing 600-foot breakwater is in disrepair and does not adequately protect the public marina from the winds and waves of Port Townsend Bay.
Federal funds requested: $1,102,811; Non-federal match: $ 1,461,313; Total: $ 2,564,124
For more information about the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program visit: http://wsfrprograms.fws.gov/.