$16 million available to boost recreational boating

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in May awarded more than $14.27 million in Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) program competitive grants to 10 states and the District of Columbia. The service also will provide approximately $2.48 million to 27 states, commonwealths and territories willing to match smaller, non-competitive grants dedicated to boating infrastructure projects.

“Anglers and boaters make these grants possible, helping communities build and enhance facilities that provide recreational opportunities while supporting jobs and economic growth,” said Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe. “These funds pay for floating docks, fixed piers, mooring buoys, sewage pump-out stations and other infrastructure that benefits fish and wildlife habitat while providing access for outdoor recreation.”

Grantees use BIG funds to construct, renovate and maintain facilities with features for transient boaters (those staying 10 days or fewer) who pilot vessels 26 feet or more in length and are used for recreation. Grantees also may use funds to produce and distribute information and educational materials about the program and about recreational boating. Funding for the BIG program comes from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, which boaters and manufacturers support through excise and other taxes on certain fishing and boating equipment and gasoline.