News Release

July 22, 2013

Fish and Wildlife Service Awards more than $13 Million in Grants to Boost Recreational Boating in Communities Across Nation

Media Contacts:
Kim Betton, (703) 358-2081
Brent Lawrence, (503) 231-6211

Infrastructure projects provide opportunities for outdoor recreation, create jobs
 

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.

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.

“These grants, funded by fishing and boating enthusiasts, have helped communities across the nation build and enhance recreational boating facilities that provide recreational opportunities while supporting jobs and economic growth,” said Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe. “This program is a win-win situation for recreational boaters, conservation initiatives and job creation.”

“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.

For example, a BIG grant of nearly $1.5 million, matched with nearly $1 million in non-federal funding, will enable the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission to partner with the Bucks County Riverfront Program to install 25 new day slips on the Delaware River between Philadelphia and Trenton, New Jersey. The ADA-compliant project, part of a larger effort to improve the waterfront in Bristol Borough, will also include new educational signage, lighting, and breakwater structures to protect the facility.

And in Chattanooga, Tennessee, a grant of nearly $1.3 million, matched by nearly $3.9 million in non-federal funding from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the City of Chattanooga, will go toward the construction or extension of guest dockage at four prominent locations along the south shore of the Tennessee River. Each location will include up to 10 slips, for a total of 40 new slips for eligible vessels.

Funding for the Boating Infrastructure Grant program comes from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund http://wsfrprograms.fws.gov/Subpages/GrantPrograms/SFR/SFRA_Funding.pdf, 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.

Projects receiving competitive grants are:

 For more information on each of the grant projects, visit http://wsfrprograms.fws.gov/Subpages/GrantPrograms/BIG/BIG_Funding.htm