Secretary Of The Interior Announces Funding For CVA And BIG

U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt has announced $32.8 million in grants – with an additional non-federal match of $21.9 million – for states and communities to support outdoor recreation and help boaters keep America’s waters clean. The funding comes from the Clean Vessel Act (CVA) program and the Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) program, which provide  funding to communities to build and maintain facilities that help boaters keep rivers and streams clean and to construct, renovate and maintain marinas and other boating facilities for outdoor recreation.

Since 2017, more than $129 million has been distributed from these programs, which have leveraged an additional $83 million in non-federal funding to provide a total of $212 million toward infrastructure projects benefiting recreational boaters.

In FY 2020, 23 states will receive a total of $19.3 million in federal grant assistance from the CVA program to provide funding to communities to build and maintain pump-out systems to dispose of on-board sewage. The funds also support associated boater education programs. Since the program’s inception in 1993, the service has allocated more than $296 million in CVA grants to states and territories.

The CVA program’s support through the user-pay-public-benefit cycle has contributed to the success of the Sport Fish Restoration program. States can apply for CVA funding, and they or their partners provide matching funds to complete projects. Sub-grantees often include local municipalities and private marinas.

Grantees use BIG funds to construct, renovate and maintain marinas and other facilities with features for transient boats (those staying 15 days or fewer), that are 26 feet or more in length and are used for recreation. Grantees may also use funds to produce and distribute information and educational materials about the program and recreational boating.

Under the BIG program, a total of $13.5 million in grants to states will support projects related to recreational boating; $10.4 million will be awarded competitively for 13 projects in 10 states under the BIG Tier II subprogram, while more than $3.1 million will fund 23 projects in 19 states under the BIG Tier I subprogram.

Since its inception in 2000, the BIG program has awarded $228 million to projects for large transient recreational boats, including funding the construction of more than 6,000 berths and other amenities benefiting boaters across most states and U.S. territories.

“The movement of recreational boats, whether from town to town or state to state, is essential to our industry and local economies and the recreational enjoyment of the waters of our country by the boating and fishing public,” said John Sprague, governmental affairs chair for the Marine Industries Association of Florida. “The Boating Infrastructure Grant and Clean Vessel Act Grant programs administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provide critical funds that are leveraged by states and the private sector to build and maintain the infrastructure that supports the travels of transient boaters in Florida and across the nation.”

Funding for the CVA and BIG programs comes from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund. Boaters and manufacturers contribute to the trust fund through excise taxes and duties on certain fishing and boating equipment and boating fuels.

Visit the 2020 CVA grant awards and the CVA program websites for more information.

Read more about the 2020 BIG grant awards and the BIG program.