Erica Szlosek (916) 978-6159
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has announced more than $12.5 million in competitive grants will be awarded to 11 states ranging from California to Maine for 14 boating infrastructure projects. The grants, which will help fund construction of docks, boat slips and other facilities to support recreational boating, are made available through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) program. Two southern California projects are among those that will be funded.
"Boating is one of our country’s favorite pastimes, and the Boating Infrastructure Grant program greatly enhances recreational opportunities while conserving America’s aquatic natural resources," said Secretary Salazar. "Spending by boaters provides significant revenues for business owners and employees in every state. This program, funded by boaters, is a prime example of the direct economic benefits boating can bring to local economies."
Funding for the BIG program comes from the Sport Fishing 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 boat fuels. The Service will also release approximately $3 million to 40 states willing to match a smaller, non-competitive grant program known as BIG Tier One funding.
Boating Infrastructure Grant funds are used to construct, renovate and maintain tie-up facilities with features for transient boats (those staying 10 days or less) that are 26 feet or more in length and cannot be transported by trailer. The funds are also used to produce and distribute information and educational materials about the program. Facilities constructed, operated, or maintained with grant funds must have reasonable access for all recreational vessels.
A panel of representatives from the Service, as well as a committee from the Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council, reviewed and ranked the BIG proposals. The Council is a federally chartered body that advises the Secretary of the Interior and the Service on recreational fishing and boating issues.
The Service received a total of 31 proposals from 14 states for these competitive grants. The 14 winning proposals for competitive grants include:
- - The California Department of Boating and Waterways, in cooperation with the City of Redondo Beach, will receive $250,000 and match that amount to add 50 transient mooring facilities at King Harbor.
- - The California Department of Boating and Waterways, in cooperation with the City of Avalon, will receive $1 million and match that amount with more than $1.1 million to provide a new fuel pier facility and expand the existing transient dingy dock by 50 feet to serve transient boaters.Other funded proposals include projects in:
Florida, Illinois, Maine, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington. Information about each of these projects is available online: http://wsfrprograms.fws.gov/Subpages/GrantPrograms/BIG/BIG_Funding.htm
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov