Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Boating Infrastructure Grant

(1:01) This week's Minute is a little different. The announcement below is from BoatUS announcing a grant program. It's something every US marina needs to be aware of. Who couldn't use a little help with facility improvements? But don't delay. The deadline is September 18th.

(0:54) Grants Available to Help Pay for Visiting Boater Facilities

(0:52) Visiting boaters, whether staying over for just one night or a couple weeks, offers real economic benefits and adds to the vitality of waterfront communities, marinas and boat clubs. But laying out the welcome mat can be challenging. Transient boat docks that are protected and safe for overnight tie-ups, deep-water channels, restrooms, and pump outs - just some of the infrastructure necessary to draw visiting boaters - can be expensive. However, the Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) program from the US Fish and Wildlife Service can help communities, marinas and boat clubs pay up to half of these improvements, but they need to apply by September 18 by going to their state's BIG administrator, typically a boating, wildlife or natural resources agency.

(0:38) Not a government handout, funding for the competitive BIG program comes from excise taxes on boat gasoline and fishing tackle that boaters and anglers pay into the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund.

(0:33) The goal is give cruising boaters convenient access to shore-side amenities via slips dedicated to transient boats as well as mooring fields and dinghy docks. Municipal or privately-owned marinas as well as boat clubs can install these conveniences including moorings, restrooms (including floating ones), fuel docks, electricity, water and sewage utilities, recycling and pump out stations, and undertake small dredging projects (up to $200,000) using BIG dollars. Two tiers of funding, both competitive and non-competitive, are available.

(0:21) Projects must be located on water bodies deep enough for boats 26-feet in length staying overnight from one to up to 15 days, and to navigate at a minimum depth of six feet. Matching funds - a 25% minimum is required - may not come from other federal sources, but state, local and private funds can be used to match.

(0:14) Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) was instrumental in creating the program in 1998 that is viewed today by local municipalities as an economic development tool to attract cruising boats and related boater spending. To date, over $177 million in grants have been awarded.

(0:08) BoatUS suggests that if your community, club or marina is interested, take a look at what's possible by seeing a list of projects that received prior grant funding at BoatUS.com/gov/BIG.asp. There's also a helpful link to state BIG administrator contacts.

(0:04) Don't let this opportunity pass you by!

(0:02) And that's the marina minute.