2024-25 Aquatic Center Grant

The application period for the 2024-25 grant cycle will open Fall 2024. For questions or a sample application contact Amy Rigby amy.rigby@parks.ca.gov.

All applications must be submitted through the Online Grant Application System.

Grant Information

DBW promotes a safer and more enjoyable boating environment through grants to non-profit organizations, colleges, universities and local agencies operating in California that offer on-the-water training to enhance basic boating safety. Click here to see Participating Aquatic Centers.

Total Funded   $1,215,018
GranteeGrant FundedGrant Amount
Alameda Community Sailing Center Replace/Refurbishment Items, Scholarships, Instructor Training $29,640
Berkeley, University of California, Cal Adventures Windsurfing Boards, Kayaks, Scholarships $60,000
Cal Sailing Club Windsurfing and Sailboats, Replacement Items, Safety Items, Life Jackets, Instructor Training, Event Funding $40,585
Carpinteria, City of Scholarships $8,750
Channel Islands, California State University Refurbish Boston Whaler, Scholarships, Event Funding $34,200
Dana Point Aquatic Foundation Vessel Motor, Inflatable Boat, Safety Items, Life Jackets, Scholarships, Event Funding $62,000
Davis, University of California Rafts, Small Equipment, Safety Items, Life Jackets $23,227
Environmental Traveling Companions Whitewater Raft, Inflatable Kayak, Replacement Supplies, Safety Items, Scholarships, Event Funding $61,782
Feather River Center SUP, Kayaks, Life Jackets, Scholarships, Instructor Training, Event Funding $57,502
Feather River College Safety Items, Life Jackets, Instructor Training $10,751
Healing Waters Wilderness Adventures Scholarships $40,000
King Harbor Youth Foundation Replacement/Refurbishment items, Life Jackets $20,411
Lake Tahoe Community College Trailers, Kayak and SUP Carts, Miscellaneous Equipment, Scholarships $29,593
Long Beach Area Council Boy Scouts of America Scholarships $40,000
Los Angeles, University of California Sailboat, Kayaks, Safety Items, Scholarships, Instructor Training $40,000
Newport Beach, City of  Replacement/Refurbishment Equipment, Scholarships, Instructor Training $34,181
Newport Sea Base, Orange County Council Boy Scouts of America Refurbish Boston Whaler, Sailboat and Equipment, Instructor Training, Event Funding $22,586
Nor Cal SUP Groms SUPs, Safety Items, Scholarships, Instructor Training, Event Funding $27,890
Orange Coast College Vessel Engine, Replacement Items, Display, Safety Items, Life Jackets, Scholarships, Instructor Training, Event Funding $59,347
Pacific Coast Sailing Foundation Scholarships $40,000
Redding, City of  Replacement/Refurbishment Equipment, Scholarships, Event Funding $38,000
Redondo Beach, City of  Repacement/Refurbishment Equipment, Miscellaneous Supplies, Safety Items,  Scholarships $10,409
Sacramento, California State University SUPs, Modular Dock, Scholarships, Event Funding $62,000
Sailing Education Adventures Used Sailboat, Replacement/Refurbishment Items, Safety Items, Scholarships, Instructor Training, Event Funding $38,300
San Diego Canoe Kayak Team Safety Items, Life Jackets, Scholarships, Instructor Training, Event Funding $26,063
San Diego, California State University SUPs, Kayaks, Trailer, Scholarships, Event Funding $62,000
San Diego-Imperial Council, Boy Scouts of America Kayaks and Paddles, Modular Dock, Safety Items, Scholarships $23,452
San Francisco, University of California  Scholarships $10,600
Santa Barbara Youth Sailing Foundation Sailboat Equipment, Safety Items, Life Jackets $26,816
Santa Cruz, University of California Sailboats $29,896
Tahoe City Public Utility District Replacement/Refurbushment Eqipment, Safety Items, Life Jackets, Instructor Training, Event Funding $27,185
Treasure Island Sailing Center SUPs, Replacement/Refurbishment Equipment, Safety Items, Scholarships, Event Funding  $60,418
Truckee Donner Recreation and Park District Sailboats, Instructor Training $18,013
Ventura, City of Sailboat, Instructor Training, Event Funding $39,420



The mission of DBW is to provide safe and convenient public access to California's waterways and leadership in promoting the public's right to safe, enjoyable and environmentally sound recreational boating.

As part of its mission, DBW manages the Aquatic Center Grant Program to enhance boaters’ knowledge of boating laws, practical handling of vessels on the water, weather and water conditions, rules of the road, equipment requirements and environmental stewardship.

Funding is provided to organizations that offer on-the-water training to the general public that includes all of the above-mentioned topics.

The following questions are typical of those DBW receives concerning the Aquatic Center Grant Program and should provide valuable information for grant applicants.


2024 Aquatic Center Directors
In-Person Meeting Dates

Please check back in Spring 2024 for updates. 

Aquatic Center Director's Meetings

Aquatic center director meetings provide an opportunity for aquatic center directors throughout the state to come together and discuss boating-related topics. (Meetings are open to the public.)
Topics of discussion have included:

  • Aquatic programs for children, including youth at-risk programs
  • Ways to make program dollars go further
  • Programs for the disabled
  • Sharing instructional videos and manuals
  • Grant writing workshops
  • How aquatic centers can form valuable partnerships with municipal governments and other area organizations
  • Role of the Internet in aquatic center programs

Meeting attendees get the chance to network with others who direct programs similar to theirs, affording them a chance to share ideas and find ways to offer better, safer and often cheaper programs.

Two meetings are held each year, one in Northern California, and one in Southern California. Agencies participating in the grant program volunteer to host a meeting. The meeting lasts two days and occasionally includes a third day, which involves a boating activity.


Frequently Asked Questions

Section 668.2 of the Harbors and Navigation Code allows DBW to distribute funding to local public agencies, nonprofit organizations, and colleges and universities operating within California.
DBW opens the application period in the fall each year. During this period, dates and deadlines are posted on the DBW website. Please visit the website for updates since the application period can change.
DBW will consider awarding grant funds to public agencies, colleges, universities and non-profit organizations that can provide on-the-water programs for enhancing boating safety education. The grant process is competitive in nature. The organization must have a positive boating safety record, must have adequately trained staff and have a safe environment in which to teach.

In addition, ideal candidates for funding would have several of these attributes:
  • Program goals that support DBW’s mission.
  • Self-sufficient program that does not totally depend on DBW funding.
  • Adequate permanent staff to ensure continuity of programming.
  • Located in sites where boating is prevalent, but there are limited opportunities to receive boating education.
  • Year-round courses where weather and water conditions permit.
  • Comprehensive and cost-effective boating safety training courses for a large segment of the general public.
  • Training for underserved populations.
  • Basic boating safety education
  • Safety training for boating activities associated with accidents.

The Aquatic Center Grant Program Manual includes grant management, as well as terms and conditions that must be followed. Online Grant Application (OLGA) information may be found by clicking the links in the left-hand column on this page.

After DBW receives an application for grant funds, it is reviewed to see how closely the applicant's program funding request aligns with the Aquatic Center Grant Program's goals and objectives. Usually a site visit is conducted in order to further evaluate the program. Only the most qualified applicants are granted funding.

If the application is approved, an agreement is sent to the grant recipient for signature, and then it is processed through DBW's Administrative Services Unit and signed by the Deputy Director. Additional approval occurs at the Department of General Services Office of Risk Insurance Management.
Vessels, and/or associated equipment that provide for boating safety education are eligible for grant funding. Examples include but are not limited to sailboats, trailers, water ski boats, canoes, kayaks, rafts, stand-up paddle boards, windsurfing equipment, boat engines, safety boats, and associated safety equipment, such as life jackets, radios, and wetsuits. Life jackets must be worn by all participants during any training paid for by grant funds or when using any vessels purchased with grant funds.

Additionally, applicants may apply for associated portable equipment such as storage sheds, equipment racks and portable docking systems.
Scholarships are available for basic non-competitive boating safety education. Scholarship funding can be used to lower the overall cost of a course in order to make it more affordable to all participants if it is estimated that the majority of people in an area cannot afford the actual tuition. Scholarship funding can also be used to partially or completely fund the tuition of individual students or specific groups of students such as school groups, outreach clubs, etc. Funding is available for disabled students as well.
There are both general terms and conditions that are required by all state agreements as well as specific terms and conditions that apply to this grant program that all organizations must be able to comply with in order to be considered for funding. These include

Exhibit B – Special Terms and Conditions
Exhibit B – Special Terms and Conditions (UC System)
Exhibit C – General Terms and Conditions
Exhibit C – General Terms and Conditions (UC System)
Prospective applicants should ensure that they can comply with both the general and specific terms and conditions.
After a grant is awarded, follow-up visits are periodically scheduled between the organization and DBW representatives. Such visits include a review of the program’s goals and inventory of the equipment purchased with DBW funds.

Additionally, the grantee shall ensure that the grant requirements are met such as attending one Aquatic Center Directors’ Meetings each year and completing an annual program report.
Reports are required from grantees receiving scholarship, training, and National Safe Boating Week funds each year they receive funding for the stated program requirements. For vessels, engines and other equipment purchased with grant funds, annual reports and inventory forms are required as long as the equipment remains in use or until it is approved by DBW to be sold and/or replaced.
No money is awarded upon approval of the grant; all funds are distributed through reimbursement only. Reimbursement requests must be submitted in accordance with the specific terms and conditions and must be accompanied by proof of payment. Purchase orders from manufactures/dealers will not be accepted in place of invoices when requesting reimbursement from DBW.
The length of time to receive reimbursement varies. Grantees should ensure that they carefully follow the billing instructions to ensure maximum speed of payment. Once the correctly completed request for payment leaves DBW, it goes to the DPR Accounting Unit and then to the California State Controller’s Office where the actual check is processed and mailed to the grantee. This process generally takes six weeks to complete if all documentation is in place. Programs without sufficient funds to cover payments while waiting for reimbursement should not apply for grant funding.