Division of Boating and Waterways Offers Boating Infrastructure Grants for Marina Operators


SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) is now accepting applications for the federal Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) Program through July 31, 2020. For this grant cycle, a total of $14 million is available to public and private marinas for BIG projects nationally.

Funded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) - Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program, BIG is a competitive program open to both publicly and privately-owned marinas to renovate or construct visitor docks, restrooms, gangways and dockside utility hook-ups for recreational boats 26 feet or greater in length for transient stays of less than two weeks.

DBW, as the pass-through entity for the grant application process, reviews each application and sends the most eligible projects to the USFWS to compete against others from all other states and territories. If awarded a USFWS grant, DBW manages the project through completion to ensure it meets federal requirements.

Last year, DBW reviewed and submitted four applications totaling $2.7 million for dock and pier projects in Port San Luis Avila, Oceanside and San Mateo. Awards for those projects should be announced in the coming months.

Once awarded, BIG Program grant recipients can:

• Enhance access to recreational, historic, cultural and scenic resources.
• Strengthen community ties to water’s edge and economic benefits.
• Promote public/private partnerships and entrepreneurial opportunities.
• Provide continuity of public access to the shore.
• Promote awareness of transient boating opportunities.

Interested applicants should first review the federal guidelines and application instructions to determine if they meet the necessary requirements. Grants are available to qualifying projects on a competitive basis. The USFWS ranks and scores grant requests according to need, access, cost efficiency, matching funds, and innovations that improve user access to the waterways.

Marina operators eligible to compete in this program should contact Deborah Holmes at Deborah.Holmes@parks.ca.gov or (916) 327-1822.


Newport Beach and Marina del Rey

Previous projects completed with federal Boating Infrastructure Grants (BIG). Top: Newport Beach Central Avenue public dock.
Bottom: Marina del Rey. Photo courtesy: Division of Boating and Waterways.



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