The $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act–commonly referred to as the bipartisan infrastructure framework (BIF)– recently passed by U.S. House of Representatives includes funding for recreation-based ports and waterways, funding for climate resiliency measures and reauthorizes the $750 million Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund.
Additional key recreational boating industry priorities found in the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act include:
- Reauthorizes the $750 million Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund—a user-pay, user-benefit system and the backbone of aquatic conservation projects across the country.
- $10 billion to support U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) recreation infrastructure priorities. (Note: USACE manages 12 million acres of recreation lands and waters, with 256 million American visiting USACE managed recreation sites each year.)
- $455 million annually for five years for the Department of Transportation’s Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP), which will allow significant improvements to port facilities on coasts, rivers, and the Great Lakes.
- $7 billion for USACE infrastructure priorities, which includes funding for projects on storm damage reduction and coastal storm risk management.
- $4.35 billion for Western water infrastructure, which will promote ecosystem restoration and make boating access more resilient across the West.
- Expands eligibility to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) alternative technology vehicle manufacturing (ATMV) loan program, advanced energy manufacturing and recycling grant program, and the clean hydrogen research and development program to include maritime products. This change allows the recreational boating industry to access DOE’s $17.7 billion loan authority for low-cost debt capital to support domestic manufacturing of fuel-efficient vehicles and qualifying components under the ATVM loan program.
- $100 million for climate resilient recreation infrastructure priority projects.
President Biden is expected to sign the bill into law. A list of additional recreational boating industry priorities in the legislation is available on the National Marine Manufacturers Association website.