This week the federal government handed over a check for $14.7 million to America’s recreational boaters.Maryland DNR
In a ceremony in Yorktown, Virginia, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke shared the funding for 2017–2018 with BoatUS. It’s part of the federal Boating Infrastructure Grant (B.I.G.) program, which funnels taxes paid by boaters into transient boating projects.
According to BoatUS Vice President Public Affairs Scott Croft, “If you want boaters to visit and spend in your town, safe protected overnight dockage with electricity and water service connections are a must.”
The program, created in 1998, serves as an economic development tool for local municipalities to attract overnight boaters. Funds go to construct, improve, or maintain transient-boater facilities like docks, moorings, utilities, and potentially, small dredging projects.
More than $180 million has been awarded since the program began. Funding comes from excise taxes on boat gasoline and fishing tackle that boaters and anglers pay into the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund.
Among the projects funded by the program in past years is a new marina on Gray’s Creek on the James River. It will be built at the site of the former Gray’s Creek Marina, and will have 40 slips designated for cruisers, as well as a gas dock, pump-out station and a bathhouse with showers.
The secretary and BoatUS also urged municipal marinas, private marinas and boat and yacht clubs to consider applying for available funds by the September 11, 2017 deadline.
To learn more about the B.I.G. program and who qualifies, click here.