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Feds distribute $13.5 million in boating grants

More than $13.5 million in federal grants were awarded to 11 states this week for 16 boating infrastructure projects.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service awards the grants, which will help fund the construction of docks, boat slips and other facilities to support recreational boating, through the agency's Boating Infrastructure Grant program.

"The Boating Infrastructure Grant program is one of the many ways we support access and provide quality outdoor opportunities for the nation's recreational anglers and boaters," Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said in a statement. "These grants also spur major construction projects, creating jobs and providing much-needed economic benefits."

Funding for the program comes from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, formerly known as the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund. Boaters and manufacturers support the fund through excise and other taxes on certain fishing and boating equipment and boat fuels.

The agency also will release about $2.7 million to 27 states, commonwealths and territories that are willing to match a smaller, non-competitive grant program known as "BIG Tier 1" funding.

The 16 winning projects for competitive grants include:

  • The California Department of Boating and Waterways, in cooperation with Bellport Anacapa Marina and its partners, will receive $1.5 million and match that amount with $1.2 million to demolish an old facility and replace it with a new marina that will include a 52-slip addition for transient recreational boats on Channel Islands Harbor.
  • The California Department of Boating and Waterways, in cooperation with the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors, will receive $1.3 million and match that amount with $4.5 million to convert 35 transient slips to 45 slips, replace the existing pumpout and update services.
  • The Ohio Department of Natural Resources, in cooperation with the city of Cleveland and partners, will receive $1.4 million and match that with $509,600 to build new floating docks for 53 transient boat slips, including three Americans with Disabilities Act-accessible slips and a ramp, a new shower, restrooms, a laundry building and amenities.
  • The Illinois Department of Natural Resources, in cooperation with the City of Rock Island, will receive $1.5 million and match that amount with $565,000 to add a floating dock system that will accommodate 23 transient slips at the Schwiebert Riverfront Park on the Mississippi River.
  • Washington: The state of Washington Recreation and Conservation Office, in cooperation with the Port of Anacortes and partners, will receive $1.4 million and match that with $1.4 million to replace two docks with state-of-the-art floats and upgraded amenities for an estimated 54 transient slips. The project is on a sheltered harbor on Fidalgo Bay in Puget Sound.

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