|Photo Credit: USFWS
Today more than 16.8 million boats use U.S. waterways. And, a large percentage of these are operated by anglers and recreational boaters. Providing better access to America's waterways is the goal of the Boating Access Grant Program.
The Program funds projects that make previously inaccessible parks, lakes and streams new destinations for recreational boaters. It also funds activities, such as restrooms and public amenities, to improve existing access. Since 1950 Sport Fish Restoration funds have helped build, enhance or maintain thousands of fishing and boating access sites across America.
The Boating Access Program is funded through the Sport Fish Restoration Program, which collects excise taxes on sport fishing equipment, trolling motors, flashers and motorboat fuels, and import duties on tackle, pleasure boats and yachts. Each state uses at least 15 percent of their Sport Fish Restoration funds for boating access projects. Other grant programs funded are the Boating Infrastructure Program for the construction, maintenance or renovation of facilities for non-trailerable recreational boats (boats greater than 26 feet in length), and the Clean Vessel program, which provides waste pumpout facilities at public marinas.
Boating Access funds may be spent on the acquisition of land to develop new access facilities or the renovation and improvement of existing facilities. Enhancements may include items such as launching ramps, docks, fueling stations, buoys, retaining w`alls, parking lots, utilities and restrooms. Projects that help expedite access to open water, such as channel improvements, vegetation clearance and navigation aids, are also eligible.
National Average Annual
Sport Fish Restoration Funding for Boating Access: $39.8 million
Expenditures on Boating (1998): $19 billion
Expenditures on New Boats and Motors (1998): $8.5 billion
Contact the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program.