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Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) Program


Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) Program Objectives

This program provides funds to States for the construction, renovation, and maintenance of public and private boating infrastructure tie-up facilities with features for transient boaters in vessels 26 feet or more in length that are available to the public. Boating infrastructure generally means features that provide stopover places for transient vessels 26 feet or more in length to tie up.

The program is designed to provide transient dockage for recreational vessels 26 feet or more in length for recreational opportunities and safe harbors, as well as:

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

The complete requirements of the Boating Infrastructure Grant Program (50 CFR 86) as published in the Federal Register can found by clicking here. General information and program guidelines start at section 86.11 of the document.

Click on the following links for specific requirements for Tier I and Tier II projects:

Tier I Projects
Tier II Projects

The following are reminders for preparing 2016 BIG applications:

Tier II:
-- Subgrantees preparing the application narratives must include a financial letter of commitment signed by an authorized representative.

Tier I and Tier II:
-- Applications should identify the useful life of capital improvements. The minimum useful life for BIG facilities is 20 years. For capital improvements with a value greater than $100k, states are required to reference the method used to determine the useful life (see 522 FW 18).

All applications must include and identify the following minimum requirements:

1. Identify project as either Tier I or Tier II. Tier I & Tier II applications must describe how the project addresses the selection criteria (see Criteria for Project Funding)
2. Project narrative (Scope of Work);
3. Project location;
4. Site plan(s);
5. Project budget demonstrating a 25% match (minimum)

Under the Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) Program, two types of grants are available, referred to as "Tier I" and "Tier II." Tier I grants are grants of up to $200,000; Tier II grants are those of more than $200,000. The State of California expects to receive $200,000 in Tier I funding each year. It also expects to be able to apply for up to $1.5 million of the $9 million in Tier II funding available nationwide for municipalities and marinas, yacht clubs and boatyards that could be applied towards projects that meet the national objectives of the Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) Program. The State of California will then distribute funding to successful applicants to install or upgrade transient tie-up facilities (passing through, staying 15 days or less) for recreational vessels 26 feet or more in length. Examples of such facilities include mooring buoys, day-docks, transient slips, dinghy docks, restrooms, and navigational aids.

Acceptable applications for funding (Criteria for Project Funding):

1. Construct and renovate tie-up facilities for transient recreational boats 26 feet or more in length;
2. Provide for public/private and public/public partnership efforts to develop, renovate, and maintain tie-up facilities;
3. Use innovative techniques to increase the availability of tie-up facilities for transient vessels 26 feet or more in length (includes education/information);
4. Include private, local, or other State funds in addition to the non-Federal match described in Section 86.42
5. Are cost efficient. (Proposals are cost efficient when the tie-up facility or access site’s features add high value compared with the funds from the proposal.);
6. Provide a significant link to prominent destination way points such as those near metropolitan population centers, cultural or natural areas, or that provide safe harbors from storms;
7. Provide access to recreational, historic, cultural, natural or scenic opportunities of local, regional or national significance;
8. Provide significant positive economic impacts to a community; and,
9. Include multi-state efforts that result in coordinating location of tie-up facilities.

Examples of Activities Eligible for Funding (see 50 CFR 86.20 for detailed list):

1. Construction, renovation, and maintenance of public and private boating infrastructure tie-up facilities that:
a. are built on navigable waters with a minimum of six (6) feet of depth;
b. are reasonably available to the public (via physical access, equitable fees, and open periods);
c. are temporary use facilities (not to exceed 15 days use) for transient recreational vessels 26 feet or more in length;
d. provide security, safety, and service for these types of vessels; and,
e. install a pumpout facility (if needed due to proximity of nearest pumpout facility).
2. One-time dredging only, to give transient vessels safe channel depths between the tie-up facility and maintained channels or open water; and,
3. Install navigational aids, limited to giving transient vessels safe passage between the tie-up facility and maintained channels or open water.

You may apply funds to grant administration, as well as to fund preliminary costs when such preliminary costs include any of the following activities that have been completed prior to signing a grant agreement (these costs will be funded only if the project is approved):

1. Conducting appraisals;
2. Administering environmental reviews and permitting;
3. Conducting technical feasibility studies;
4. Carrying out site surveys and engaging in site planning;
5. Preparing cost estimates;
6. Preparing working drawings, construction plans, and specifications.

Examples of Activities Ineligible for Funding (see 50 CFR 86.21 for detailed list):

1. Projects that do not provide public benefit;
2. Involve enforcement activity;
3. Significantly degrade or destroy valuable natural resources, or alter the cultural or historic nature of the area;
4. Provide structures not expected to last at least 20 years;
5. Do maintenance dredging;
6. Fund operations or routine, custodial and janitorial maintenance of the facility;
7. Construct, renovate, or maintain boating infrastructure tie-up facilities for non-transient vessels.

Types of Funding Available

Tier I Projects: In any given funding cycle, the State of California will receive a total of $200,000 for Tier I projects. All Tier I projects must meet the eligibility requirements of 50 CFR 86.20. Each Tier I project cannot exceed $200,000; however, the State of California may select one (1) or as many Tier I projects as are eligible so long as the aggregate of these projects do not total more than that year’s funding cycle allotment.

Tier II Projects: In any given funding cycle, and on a nationally competitive basis, the National Boating Infrastructure Grant Program expects to make available $9 million for Tier II projects nationally. There are no dollar limits for Tier II projects; All Tier II projects must meet the eligibility requirements of 50 CFR 86.20. Each project will compete nationally against every other project in Tier II.

Contact: Ron Kent, (916) 327-1819,

Marina Operators: Deadline to Submit applications for Boating Infrastructure Grants to DBW was August 11, 2016

Please submit 1 hard copy and 1 electronic copy of your applications to:

Ron Kent
CA State Parks - Division of Boating and Waterways
One Capitol Mall, Suite 500
Sacramento, CA 95814