News Release

Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne Announces Grants to 15 States to Improve Recreational Boating Infrastructure

February 1, 2008

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Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne Announces Grants to 15 States
to Improve Recreational Boating Infrastructure

WASHINGTON, D.C.--Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne today announced that more than $13.5 million in competitive grants will be awarded to 15 states ranging from California to Rhode for 19 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 Services Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) program.

"The Boating Infrastructure Grant program expands opportunities for recreational boating while strengthening a communitys ties to the water," said Secretary Kempthorne. "Although it is funded by boaters, this program benefits the entire community by helping local economies, helping people connect with nature and improving public safety.

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. Smaller non-competitive grants are also available to states that are willing to match the BIG funding. The Service will release approximately $3.7 million to 38 states in non-competitive BIG funding. BIG funds can be used to construct, renovate and maintain tie-up facilities with features for boats that cannot be trailered in vessels 26 feet or more in length. The funds also can be used to produce and distribute information and educational materials about the program.

A panel of representatives from the Service as well as a committee from the Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council reviewed and scored 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.

"Recreational boating enriches family life and strengthens childrens connections to nature," said Council Chair, Ryck Lydecker. "The BIG program, which boaters pay for, has become a key element to help them continue that tradition."

For the first time, Arkansas, Georgia, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin will receive a competitive BIG grant. The Service received 35 proposals from 20 states for these competitive grants.

The 15 winning proposals for competitive grants include:

Alabama: The Alabama Department of Environmental Management, in cooperation with the Huntsville/Madison County Marina and Port Authority, will receive nearly $345,000 and match that amount with more than $500,000 to construct nine slips for visiting boats and a fuel pier at the Ditto Landing Transient Boating Facilities.

Arkansas: The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, in cooperation with JAPB LLC, will receive $1 million and match that amount with more than $3 million to construct a dual purpose wave break and tie-up facility for up to 36 visiting boats in Little Rock.

California: The California Department of Boating and Waterways, in cooperation with the City of Stockton, will receive nearly $1.4 million and match that amount with nearly $1.4 million to construct new dockage for up to 46 visiting boats throughout the Stockton Marina. The proposed facilities will include dockside utilities and other amenities.

The California Department of Boating and Waterways, in cooperation with San Francisco Waterfront Partners, will receive more than $425,000 and match that amount with the same to construct dockage for 22 visiting boats as part of the larger rehabilitation project on San Francisco Piers 1½, 3 and 5.

Connecticut: The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, in cooperation with St. Clements Castle, will receive more than $1.8 million and match that amount with the same to construct dockage for 35 visiting boats at the Saint Clements Marina near Portland.

Florida: The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, in cooperation with the City of Jacksonville and other partners, will receive more than $600,000 and match that amount with more than $1 million to provide dockside utilities to 78 visiting boat slips at Metropolitan Marina Park.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, in cooperation with Martin County, South Florida Water Management District, and other partners will receive $500,000 and match that amount with more than $10 million to conduct one-time dredging operations necessary to maintain access to a multitude of visiting boating facilities in the county.

Georgia: The Georgia Department of Natural Resources, in cooperation with the City of Savannah, will receive $1 million and match that amount with more than $4.4 million to construct a 1,000 linear foot floating dock for visiting boats.

Maryland: The Maryland Department of Natural Resources, in cooperation with Chestertown Marina, will receive more than $405,000 and match that amount with more than $225,000 to construct 25 slips for visiting boaters with dockside utilities.

Michigan: The Michigan Department of Natural Resources, in cooperation with the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, will receive nearly $1 million and match that amount with more than $600,000 to construct 30 slips for visiting boats in the planned Peshawbestown Marina located in the Grand Traverse Bay. The proposed project will also include fuel and sewage pumpout stations, and restroom/shower/laundry facilities.

New York: The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, in cooperation with Port of Oswego Authority, will receive nearly $434,000 and match that amount with nearly $150,000 to rehabilitate and convert existing commercial wharf facilities into access for up to 40 recreational visiting boats. The proposed project will also include dockside utilities and restrooms/showers.

North Carolina: The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, in cooperation with the Town of Bellhaven, will receive more than $155,000 and match that amount with the same to construct approximately 900 linear feet of docking access for visiting boaters to provide access to the local community and safe harbor mooring.

Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, in cooperation with the Mellon Foundation, McCune Foundation, Heinz Endowment, NiSource and other partners will receive $1,350,000 and match that amount with nearly $5.3 million to construct dockage for up to 17 visiting boats at the South Shore Riverfront Park located in Pittsburgh.

Rhode Island: The Rhode Department of Environmental Management, Division of Fish and Wildlife, in cooperation with the City of port, will receive $713,000 and match that amount with more than $250,000 to construct a centralized "state of the art" facility for visiting boaters. The proposed project includes restrooms and other amenities for visiting boaters.

Texas: The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, in cooperation with the City of Port Aransas and other partners, will receive more than $366,000 and match that amount with more than $200,000 to construct 16 slips for visiting boaters in the Port Aransas Municipal Harbor. The proposed visiting facilities are part of a larger marina renovation project that also includes providing dockside utilities, sewage pumpout facilities and other improvements.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, in cooperation with the City of Port Lavaca and other cooperators, will receive more than $660,000 and match that amount with more than $220,000 to construct 48 permanent slips for visiting boaters in the Nautical Landings Marina. The proposed facility expansion also includes construction of restroom, shower and laundry facilities for boaters, improved navigation aids, and other facility improvements.

Virginia: The Virginia Department of Health, in cooperation with the City of Norfolk and other partners, will receive nearly $340,000 and match that amount with nearly $350,000 to replace the existing deteriorating dock facilities at the Waterside Marina in Norfolk. The proposed project will also provide dockside electrical service to boaters.

The Virginia Department of Health, in cooperation with Poquoson Marina Associates LLC, will receive more than $300,000 and match that amount with the same to construct 20 slips for visiting boats. The proposed project will also remove deteriorating dock infrastructure.

Wisconsin: The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, in cooperation with the City of Green Bay, will receive nearly $765,000 and match that amount with the same to construct facilities for visiting boaters along the Fox River.

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>.

Information contained in older news items may be outdated. These materials are made available as historical archival information only. Individual contacts have been replaced with general External Affairs office information. No other updates have been made to the information and we do not guarantee current accuracy or completeness.


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.

For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit http://www.fws.gov/. Connect with our Facebook page, follow our tweets, watch our YouTube Channel and download photos from our Flickr page.