|The Mountain-Prairie Region|
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228
September 9, 2004 Contact: Nicholas Throckmorton, 202/208-5636
U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE AWARDS FOUR STATES BOATING INFRASTRUCTURE GRANTS
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today awarded nearly $4 million in Boating Infrastructure Grants (BIG) in Texas, Illinois, Oregon, and Nebraska to improve marina facilities.
“We understand the importance of having safe and accessible tie-up facilities and the economic benefits that boating can bring to local economies,” Interior Secretary Gale Norton said. “The BIG program works with partners to improve recreational boating and fishing opportunities. It strengthens community ties to the water’s edge by enhancing access to recreational, historic, cultural, natural and scenic resources for millions of boat owners."
Funded Projects include:
Corpus Christi Marina, Corpus Christi, Texas – The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will receive $450,000 to help this marina develop 48 transient boat slips. The BIG award is a part of a major renovation and addition being completed by the city of Corpus Christi. The new transient boat slips will provide access to the area for off-shore fishing tournaments, special events, regattas, and other events.
Grafton Harbor Project, Grafton, Illinois – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources will receive $996,000 for transient boat slips and facilities as part of the city’s development of a new marina for boaters along the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers. The new marina and transient boat slips will provide boaters access to Grafton that was previously not available.
Sandy Beach Project, Columbia River, Oregon – The Oregon State Marine Board will receive $749,138 to help this project develop a 520-ft. concrete breakwater and docking facility for transient boaters at the Sandy Beach Access area on the Columbia River.
NP Dodge Park Marina, Omaha, Nebraska – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will receive $930,692 to help the marina provide docking facilities for up to 40 transient boats at this marina. The BIG award is part of a larger project being completed by the city of Omaha. The new slips will provide transient boaters a link for their travels along the Missouri River.
The BIG proposals are reviewed by a panel of representatives from the Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as a committee from the Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council. The Council, a federally chartered body which advises the Secretary of the Interior and the Service on recreational fishing and boating issues, made an initial funding recommendation to the Service based on a review of project proposals by a Council-appointed committee. The Council's Boating Infrastructure Grant Program Review Committee members this year were: Mike Hough representing the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources; Ryck Lydecker of BoatUS; John Hardin representing Grady White Boats; Jim Frye of the National Marine Manufacturers Association; John Schwartz of the Michigan Sea Grant Extension Program; and Doug Boyd of the Coastal Conservation Association.
The BIG program has two levels of funding, including the Tier-1 and Tier-2. The Tier-2 portion of the BIG program provides for larger projects to compete for available funding. Today’s awards were made under the competitive funds provisions of Tier-2
Under the Tier-1 portion, all states and territories can receive up to $100,000 for docking facilities for transient, non-trailerable boats without competing against other proposals. Thirty states and two territories requested funding for the Tier-1 portion of the program this fiscal year and received approximately $3.07 million of funding.
These four projects were awarded funding after Congress authorized additional funding for this program. Earlier this year, one award, totaling $859,000, was given to a partnership in California for San Francisco’s Pier 39 Ltd.
For more information, contact the Boating Infrastructure Grant Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Federal Aid, Mailstop MBSP-4020, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22203 or call 703-358-2156.
The Catalogue for Federal Domestic Assistance number is 15.622.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 544 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 63 Fish and Wildlife Management offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.
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