Record Funding for Boating Infrastructure Grants and other Wildlife and Sportfish Restoration ProgramsPublished on February 11, 2022
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced a record $1.5 billion in annual funding through the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration (WSFR) Program that supports outdoor recreational opportunities, including the Boating Infrastructure Grant, and wildlife and habitat conservation. Specifically, $27,548,066 has been set aside for the Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) program with state breakdowns available here. BIG money is used to fund facilities for transient boaters, such as docks, restrooms, and fuel docks.
The WSFR Program, also known as Pittman-Robertson Dingell-Johnson/Wallop-Breaux, contains two funding sources: the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, which was reauthorized as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and the Wildlife Restoration Program. The WSFR Program apportions excise taxes on hunting, shooting, fishing equipment, and boat fuel to all 50 states and U.S. territories.
To date, the Service has distributed more than $25.5 billion in apportionments for state conservation and recreation projects.
Eligible states receive WSFR funds through formula-based permanent appropriations. The distribution formulas are based primarily on land and water area and the number of paid recreational hunting and fishing license holders in each state. The grants are made eligible to private and public entities through the states which make decisions on how funds are used. The WSFR dollars typically fund up to 75% of project costs. Most states must provide a matching share of up to 25%.
State-by-state listing of the Service’s final apportionment of Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program funds for Fiscal Year 2022 can be found on the WSFR webpage. More information on the Boating Infrastructure Grant is available here.