$24.7 Million Available for This Year’s Boating Infrastructure Grants

The Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) program has $24.7 million in available funds this cycle for the construction, installation and renovation of docks and amenities for transient boats. BIG funded docks can be used by boaters for the day, a weekend or up to ten days. The facilities must target transient recreational vessels 26 feet in length and larger. The funds are available for private and public marinas with money in the fund coming from excise taxes on fishing equipment, motorboat and small engine fuels, import duties and interest on the fund.

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service manages the program that is administered through state boating, parks and conservation agencies. To find state BIG administrators, click here States Organization for Boating Access’ BIG coordinator list.

There are two levels of project funding. Tier 1 projects are directly funded through the state for projects of $200,000 or less. Tier 2 projects are competitively reviewed across the United States for projects up to $1.5f million. The program requires a 25 percent match.

The goal of the BIG is to give cruising boaters safe harbor and easy access to shoreside amenities. In addition to providing a place to safely “park” a visiting boat, BIG dollars can be used to install conveniences such as restrooms, bathing facilities, fuel docks, electricity, water and sewage utilities, laundries, recycling and pumpout stations, as well as some limited funds for dredging.

Last year’s grant cycle provided $20.6 million in BIG funding to 56 projects in 35 states. Projects included a 334-foot floating wave-attenuator; a protected state-operated safe harbor with 36 transient slips and community building; ten large-capacity docks and a two-story transient marina service building with bath, shower and laundry; a 46-slip state parks docking facility, and replacement of a 40-year old fuel float.

Since inception, more than $215 million has been provided for BIG projects, adding more than 5,400 transient berths across the U.S. The program has a recurring annual application deadline, typically in the late summer to early fall, varying by state. For more information on the program, click here Boating Infrastructure Grant webpage.