April 10, 2013
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Releases more than $13 Million in Grants to Boost Recreational Boating
Karla Drewsen, PhD, 503-231-2389
Nearly Half a Million to go to Infrastructure Projects in Hawaii and Oregon
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced more than $11.2 million in competitive grants to 15 states for projects to support recreational boating through the Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) program. The Fish and Wildlife Service will also release approximately $2.4 million to 25 states, commonwealths, and territories willing to match a smaller, non-competitive grant program known as “BIG Tier 1” funding.
Competitive grant projects in the Pacific Region have been awarded to the Roadstead Offshore Mooring Installation Project in Lahaina, Hawaii and the Marine Fuel Station and Utility Upgrade Project at the Port of Arlington, Arlington, Oregon. Total Federal funding for these projects exceeds $438,000.
Grantees use Boating Infrastructure Grant funds to construct, renovate, and maintain 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 may also use funds to produce and distribute information and educational materials about the program and recreational boating.
“The BIG grants provide funds to the states, District of Columbia and insular areas,” said Assistant Director Hannibal Bolton of the Service’s Wildlife and Sport Fish restoration Program. “This program is a win-win situation for recreational boaters, conservation initiatives and job creation.”
Funding for the Boating Infrastructure Grant program comes from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, formerly known as the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund, which boaters and manufacturers support through excise and other taxes on certain fishing and boating equipment and gasoline.
“The BIG Grants have major impacts – not only do cruising boaters get the benefit of facilities that they help to pay for, waterfront communities and their small businesses also get an economic boost from visitors who enjoy boating,” said Thom Dammrich, chairman of the Sport Fish and Boating Partnership Council and president of the National Marine Manufacturers’ Association.
To view a complete list of the State Wildlife Grants awarded for 2013, go to http://www.fws.gov/home/feature/2013/pdf/BIG_Grant_list_2013-1.pdf
The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program (WSFR) is a 75-year partnership to benefit fish and wildlife, and provide Americans with access to the outdoors through a self-imposed investment paid by manufacturers and users of gear bought by anglers, boaters, hunters, and shooters and managed by Federal and State fish and wildlife agencies. Fishing and hunting licenses and motorboat fuel tax also support fish and wildlife. For 75 years, the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program has provided more than $14 billion for fish and wildlife, supplied jobs for many Americans, and benefitted local economies through boating, fishing, hunting, and shooting activities.