Inside Region 3
Midwest Region
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The Port of Dubuque Marina in Iowa was partially funded through BIG dollars. The finished product, pictured here, has attracted tourists and brought an economic boost to the historic downtown. Photo courtesy of Garth Fuerste/garthfuerstephotography.com

The Port of Dubuque Marina in Iowa was partially funded through BIG dollars. The finished product, pictured here, has attracted tourists and brought an economic boost to the historic downtown. Photo courtesy of Garth Fuerste/garthfuerstephotography.com.

$500,000 In Grants Will Support Recreational Boating
in the Midwest Region Through Boating Infrastructure Projects

Over 22 million Americans own a boat and this traditional recreational activity brings people together. According to the Outdoor Foundation and Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s 2012 Special Report on Fishing and Boating, when boaters age 16 and up were asked to evaluate who their boating companions were, over 63 percent responded that they boat with friends.

In support of recreational boating, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Midwest Region will receive $500,000 for Fiscal Year 2015 in Tier One Boating Infrastructure Grant funding. Tier one funding is a non-competitive grant process while Tier Two is nationally competitive. Under Tier One, each state, the District of Columbia and insular areas may receive funding for eligible projects up to $100,000 annually.

According to the 2012 Special Report, a majority of participants, at 63 percent, indicated that they use freshwater areas for boating recreation, and the Midwest Region is known for this precious resource. Each Midwestern requesting state receiving BIG grant funding for 2015 will take home the maximum amount of available Tier One funding to support recreational boating in local communities.

Five Midwest Region states each were awarded $100,000 grants: Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin.

To support boating and outdoor recreation, grantees use Boating Infrastructure Grant funds to construct, renovate and maintain marinas and other 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 also may use funds to produce and distribute information and educational materials about the program and recreational boating.

Not only does boating bring people together, it provides access to many recreational opportunities including swimming, fishing, cruising, water skiing, nature observation and sunbathing. According to the 2012 Special Report, males favorite activity was fishing (64%) and women most enjoy cruising (58%). Overall, boating is a popular outdoor activity with more than 17 percent of Americans spending a combined total of over 700 million days on the water.

Funding for this grant program comes from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, which boaters and manufacturers support through excise and other taxes on certain fishing and boating equipment and gasoline. Sport Fish dollars are managed and distributed to states through the Service’s Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program. Nationally, this year the Service will distribute more than $12.2 million in competitive Tier Two grants to 10 states and approximately $2 million in Tier One in grants to 21 states to support boating through the BIG program.

By Joanna Gilkeson
Regional Office - External Affairs

Sailing on Lake Michigan is more fun with friends. Photo Courtesy of Wisconsin DNR.

Sailing on Lake Michigan is more fun with friends. Photo courtesy of Wisconsin DNR.

 

 

Last updated: March 5, 2015