Through the Sportfishing and Boating Safety Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-178), the Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) program was established to provide funding for development and maintenance of facilities for transient, non-trailerable recreational vessels. An estimated 600,000 registered boats in the United States are 26 feet or more in length and are considered non-trailerable. Because manufacturers are responding to the public demands for larger vessels, marinas and other facilities that provide docking amenities are not designed or adequate to accommodate larger boats. BIG funds are generated from excise taxes paid on motor fuel and will assist efforts in developing and maintaining facilities for larger, non-trailerable recreational boats.
Boating Infrastructure Grant funds are available as pass-through grants from the Department to both public and private sector entities that own and/or operate boating facilities open to the general public.
BIG has two levels of funding, Tier-1 and Tier-2. Under Tier-1, applicants can receive up to $100,000 to construct or improve docking facilities for transient, recreational boats over 26 feet in length. Tier-2 enables larger projects to compete for available funding at the national level. Tier-2 applications are reviewed and judged on the basis of established priorities, project feasibility, and overall merit as they relate to current needs of the boating public. Proposals are reviewed by a panel of representatives from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as a committee from the Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council.
Examples of eligible activities include the acquisition, construction, renovation and maintenance of mooring buoys, dinghy and day-docks, dockside services and utilities, marine fueling stations, navigational aids, transient slips, floating docks and fixed piers and breakwaters, restrooms, retaining walls, bulkheads, pump-out stations, recycling and trash receptacles, and debris deflection booms.
Grant participants are responsible for at least 25% of the total project cost. Funds must be non-federal matching funds. The 25% match can be cash, the fair market value of any labor or materials provided, or a combination thereof.
For more information, or alternate formats of application forms, please contact:
Ron Christofferson, Boating Facilities Program Manager, (623) 236-7481.