U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Wildlife & Sport Fish Restoration Program

Boating Access - History

The Boating Access Program was created by the 1984 Wallop-Breaux Amendment to the Sport Fish Restoration Act (Dingell-Johnson) of 1950. This amendment also captured motorboat fuel excise taxes. The amendment mandated that each state, the District of Columbia and insular area spend at least 10 percent of their annual Sport Fish Restoration apportionment on boating access projects.

The Sport Fish Restoration Act was amended in 1992. This amendment increased the allocation mandated for boating access projects from 10 percent to 12½ percent averaged over a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service region. It gave states and insular areas five years to obligate the funds for boating access projects.

In 1998 the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) reauthorized the Sport Fish Restoration Act. The reauthorization captured additional motorboat and small engine fuel taxes and increased the amount mandated for boating access projects from 12½ percent to 15 percent of the annual Sport Fish Restoration apportionment.

In 2005 the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act (SAFETEA) was signed into law and provided for the reauthorization of Sport Fish Restoration Act including capturing an additional 4.8 cents per gallon of fuel tax attributable to small engines and motorboats. The amendment established the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund. The amount mandated for boating access projects did not change.