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

Boating Access - Overview

The Boating Access (BA) Program provides grant funds to the states, the District of Columbia and insular areas fish and wildlife agencies for projects that provide access to America's waterways by developing new access facilities or renovation and/or improvement of existing facilities.

Today more than 16.8 million boats use U.S. waterways. A large percentage of these are operated by anglers and recreational boaters.

The Boating Access Program is part of the Sport Fish Restoration Program. Spending for the BA is authorized in the Sport Fish Restoration Act.

Learn more about Boating Access Program accomplishments.

Related grant programs are the Boating Infrastructure Grant Program and the Clean Vessel Act Grant Program.

Source of Funds
The Sport Fish Restoration Act mandates each state, the District of Columbia and insular area to allocate at least 15 percent of their annual Sport Fish Restoration apportionment to boating access projects. The allocation is averaged over a five year period for each U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service region.

The funds apportioned annually are derived from excise taxes on fishing equipment, motorboat and small engine fuels, import duties, and interest collected in the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund. These funds are apportioned to the states, the District of Columbia and insular areas based on a formula which includes land area, number of paid license holders, minimums and maximums.

States, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Insular Areas fish & wildlife agencies may apply for grants by contacting the specific WSFR Office or apply online at grants.gov.

Grant funds are disbursed to states for approved grants up to 75% of the project costs and insular areas up to 100% of the project costs.