Press Release
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Provides $1.8 Million in Grants for Boating Infrastructure and Water Recreation Projects in Bay Area and Channel Islands
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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced it will provide a $1.5 million Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) to the California Department of Parks and Recreation to improve aquatic infrastructure on Angel Island in the San Francisco Bay. The grant will support the replacement of the dilapidated Angel Island Ayala Cove Boat Docks at Angel Island State Park, increasing recreational access. The Service will also provide $300,000 to the department to improve infrastructure at Avalon Harbor on Santa Catalina Island, part of the Channel Islands.

Angel Island State Park, the largest natural island in the San Francisco Bay, offers multiple recreational activities, including hiking trails, campsites and boat docks. As part of the rehabilitation project, California Department of Parks and Recreation plans to increase the number of slips from 42 to 48. The improved facility will be ADA-compliant, include lighting and potable fresh water, which the current facility lacks. In addition to the $1.5 million in BIG funding, California Department of Parks and Recreation will provide $1.2 million in non-federal match funding to complete the project. 

The Service will provide an additional $300,000 to the California Department of Parks and Recreation to design and replace a 20-year-old dinghy dock and gangway at Avalon Harbor on Santa Catalina Harbor. When completed, the project will provide ADA-compliant access to city amenities. In addition to the $300,000 in BIG funding, the California Department of Parks and Recreation will provide $100,000 in non-federal match funding to complete the project.

Across the country, the Service announced more than $21 million in Boating Infrastructure Grant funding to support construction, renovation and maintenance of marinas and other boating facilities for outdoor recreation and waterway access. This year’s grants will support projects in 21 states, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Reauthorized under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Bipartisan Infrastructure Law
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) is a once-in-a-generation investment in the nation’s infrastructure and economic competitiveness. We were directly appropriated $455 million over five years in BIL funds for programs related to the President’s America the Beautiful initiative.

Learn more about Bipartisan Infrastructure Law
, BIG is part of a state-industry-federal partnership. The partnership and its resulting grants provide people with access to places where they can connect with nature and participate in outdoor activities such as boating and fishing.

“BIG funds benefit local communities and waterways and the recreational boaters who enjoy them,” said Service Director Martha Williams. “These grants provide opportunities for boating and fishing while improving economies in local communities, offering easy access to waterfronts and much-needed facilities.” 

Under the BIG program, eligible partner boating agencies from all states, commonwealths, territories and the District of Columbia can submit proposals for two different tiers of funding, each requiring that most grantees provide a matching share of at least 25% of project costs. Tier 1 provides maximum federal funding of $300,000 per state annually, while Tier 2 funding is nationally competitive and is typically for larger-scale projects with maximum federal funding of $1.5 million per application. The Angel Island project will receive Tier 2 funding, and the Avalon Harbor project will receive Tier 1 funding.

This year more than $4.4 million will fund projects in 18 states as well as Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands under the BIG Tier 1 subprogram, and over $17 million will fund projects in 12 states (nine of which are also receiving Tier 1 grants) under the BIG Tier 2 subprogram.

Since its inception in 2000, BIG has awarded over $300 million to projects for large transient recreational boats (those over 26 feet in length and staying 15 days or less), including funding the construction of more than 7,000 berths and other amenities such as fuel docks and Wi-fi access and benefitting boaters across most states, commonwealths, territories and the District of Columbia. Boaters and manufacturers fund the program through excise taxes and duties on boating fuels and certain fishing and boating equipment, directed to the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund and administered by the Service. Grantees can use BIG funds to construct, renovate and maintain marinas and other facilities with features for large transient boats that are used for recreation. Grantees may also use funds to produce and distribute information and educational materials about the BIG program and recreational boating. 

More information regarding BIG and the 2024 Tier 2 award application summaries can be found at

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