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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Announces Boating Infrastructure Grant Program Award


November 21, 2005

Nicholas Throckmorton, FWS, (202) 208-5636

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today that it has awarded more than $4 million in competitive Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) grants. The grants will provide additional facilities for recreational boaters in eight States -- Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, New Jersey, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Washington.

Because Congress made more money available this fiscal year, this round of grants builds upon BIG grants awarded earlier this year. Last spring, the Service awarded three large competitive grants to Maine, South Carolina and Virginia and 33 small, non-competitive grants to state agencies responsible for boating. Money for BIG comes from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund. This fund is supported by excise taxes paid on certain fishing and boating equipment.

"Boating can make an important contribution to local economies," said Interior Secretary Gale Norton. “These grants empower state and local governments and other partners to improve recreational boating and fishing opportunities, strengthening community ties to the water’s edge by enhancing access to recreational, historic, cultural, natural and scenic resources for millions of boat owners.”

The BIG program has two levels of funding, Tier-1 and Tier-2. Under the Tier-1 portion, all states and territories can receive up to $100,000 to construct or improve docking facilities for transient (short term, non-trailerable boats) without competing against other proposals. The Tier-2 portion of the BIG program enables larger projects to compete for available funding. These grants match up to half of one project cost.

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.

Grant awards:

Annapolis City Dock, Maryland -- In cooperation with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the city of Annapolis will receive $500,000 to replace and upgrade an existing boardwalk, provide 20 transient boat slips and associated utilities connections, and replace an adjacent deteriorated bulkhead. The project will provide additional economic impact to the local community by providing additional docking space for transient boats.

Fulton Harbor (Aransas County Navigation District No. 1), Texas -- In cooperation with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the Aransas County Navigation District will receive $579,025 to construct 15 new slips designated for use by transient boats over 26 feet in length at Fulton Harbor. Currently there are no dedicated transient docking facilities and the existing slips are at 100 percent occupancy. Fulton Harbor is located on the mid-Texas Gulf coast near the cities of Rockport and Fulton. These additional slips will significantly increase the opportunities for larger recreational boats to frequent the area.

Cumberland Yacht Harbor, Nashville, Tennessee -- In cooperation with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, the Cumberland Yacht Harbor will receive $376,172 to construct a 680 foot dock, 20 slips and restrooms for boaters, as well as dredging access to the marina. The Cumberland Yacht Harbor is a planned waterfront community near the central business district of Nashville. The facilities will provide boaters access to Nashville’s many attractions, including the NFL’s Titan Stadium.

Glass City Municipal Marina, Toledo, Ohio -- In cooperation with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Watercraft, the city of Toledo will receive $226,500 to provide transient moorage for boaters visiting the new 125-acre Marina District being developed on the now closed First Energy/Toledo Edison Acme Power Plant Site. Within the Marina District will be residences, commercial retail stores, restaurants, a Hovercraft Port, a Marine Passenger Terminal, and the Glass City Municipal marina. This marina will have 100 boat slips, 20 of which will be dedicated for transient use. The 20 slips will provide an opportunity for traveling boaters to visit the stores and restaurants planned.

Port of Everett, Washington -- In cooperation with the Washington Interagency Committee for Outdoor Recreation, the city of Everett will receive $995,000 to develop 42 slips with utilities for transient boats. The slips will provide access to the new waterfront redevelopment in Everett. The facility will also provide a safe moorage during winds and storms.

Kenlake Marina, Kentucky -- This project will receive $198,000 to construct an 830- foot floating dock with connections for electrical, water, cable television, and wireless internet service. It will be able to accommodate more than 40 short term vessels.

Nauticus Marina, Norfolk, Virginia -- In cooperation with the Virginia Department of Health, the city of Norfolk will receive $228,540 for the Nauticus Maritime Center Marina. The award will be used to increase transient boating access to this popular attraction, including floating docks with utilities and restroom facilities. Norfolk is an important stopping point for boaters along the Intercoastal Waterway. The new facilities will provide access to the Nauticus Maritime Center, which attracts over 400,000 visitors annually.

Town of Occoquan, Virginia -- In cooperation with the Virginia Department of Health, the town of Occoquan will receive $166,500 to construct 24 floating docks with utility services and a restroom. The new facilities will provide boaters access to this quaint Virginia town known for its arts and craft festivals and other regional activities.

Tuckerton Seaport, New Jersey -- In cooperation with the New Jersey Office of Maritime Resources, the Tuckerton Seaport will receive $495,596 to construct 120 feet of new floating docks with utilities, new restrooms and showers, as well as conducting one-time access dredging to the facility. Tuckerton Seaport is about 15 miles west of Long Beach Island and 30 miles north of Atlantic City. The facilities will provide access to many local and regional attractions.

Port of Wahkiakum, Washington -- In cooperation with the Washington Interagency Committee for Outdoor Recreation, the Port District of Wahkiakum County will receive $202,712 will develop 24 new slips, increasing the current capacity by 24 percent for short term boaters in this popular boating area along the West Coast. The slips will provide boaters with access to the town of Cathlamet and its festivals and events.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife, 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 545 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands, and other special management areas. It also operates national fish hatcheries, fishery resource offices, and 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 Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.


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