20 States Share Over $18 Million in Fish and Wildlife Service Grants for Boating Infrastructure

by Amy Myers
(Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

Twenty states will be splitting more than $18 million as a part of the Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) program. The funds will help these state departments construct, renovate and maintain recreational marinas and other boating facilities. That means more places to take and tie off your small crafts as well as new amenities close by. The necessary construction likely won’t be completed in time for this summer. However, that does mean more boating opportunities in the near future for the states involved.

Here’s the Breakdown

  • The BIG program has awarded $263.1 million to projects for large transient recreational boats
  • Funds will help construct, renovate and maintain marinas and other boating facilities
  • The BIG program is a part of the America the Beautiful initiative
  • The Program includes competitive subprogram for nine states

States that will be receiving the new funds include: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

Since the program’s inception in 2000, the Boating Infrastructure Grants have awarded $263.1 million in state projects. This includes more than 6,500 berths and other boating amenities across most states and U.S. territories.

Boating Infrastructure Grants Will Help Bring More Outsiders to the Water

According to Service Director Martha Williams, the Boating Infrastructure Grants will help increase accessibility to recreational resources. This will help more outdoor enthusiasts visit their favorite places more often.

“Local communities, people who love the outdoors, and wildlife and natural resources all benefit when outdoor opportunities are easy to access,” said Williams in a press release. “Grants made under the BIG program are great examples of the Service’s commitment to working with state and local partners to improve infrastructure and support conservation efforts. These funds and projects complement the Biden-Harris Administration’s work under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the America the Beautiful initiative.” 

Funding for the Boating Infrastructure Grants comes from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund. Through this trust fund, the BIG Tier 1 subprogram will fund $3 million to 19 states each. Meanwhile, an additional nine states will receive a share of $15 million, competitively.

“Under the BIG program, more than $3 million will fund projects in 19 states under the BIG Tier 1 subprogram, and $15 million in grants will be awarded competitively for projects in nine states (eight of which are also receiving Tier 1 grants) under the BIG Tier 2 subprogram,” the U.S. Fishing and Wildlife Service shared. “The Tier 2 projects will contribute an estimated 426 new or renovated boat slips and berths as well as approximately 5,682 feet of additional side-tie docking space, plus other amenities (including fuel docks, restrooms, showers, wave attenuators and Wi-Fi) for the benefit and enjoyment of the transient recreational boating public.”