Boating Infrastructure Grants (BIG) total $12.5 million and have been awarded to 11 states. This $12.5 million funds 14 projects for boating infrastructure and includes construction boat slips, boat docks an ore facilities that are relate to recreational boating. They are also used to fund maintenance, renovation or construction of tie-up facilities for boats that are considered to be transient, which is a boat that remains at the facility for 10 days or less, that are at least 26 feet long an are not transportable by trailer. These grants also provide funding for public awareness materials that are geared toward the Boating Infrastructure Grants.
Boating Infrastructures Grants, which are made available by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, are funded by the Sport Fishing and Boating Trust fund. This trust fund is funded by an excise tax that ahs been put on fishing an boating equipment as well as boating fuel.
The recipients of the Boating Infrastructure Grants were chosen by a panel of United States Fish and Wildlife Service representatives and a committee formed by the Sport Fishing an Boating Partnership Council. The Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council is federally chartered and advises the Secretary o the Interior and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service on the issues affecting the recreational and fishing boats.
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service received 31 proposals from a total of 14 states for the Boating Infrastructure Grant and 14 of these 31 proposals were chosen. These 14 proposed projects chosen are taking place in 11 states.
Texas received $666,000 in 2009 from the BIG program. This grant provides funding for construction of 24 transient boat slips that are 26 to 60 feet in length, and 7 transient boat slips that are for boats that measure 100 feet in length or longer. This project is funded by $666,000 from the BIG program plus the Texas Parks and Wildlife Service and the City of Aransas Pass matching funds of $285,000.
The United Fish and Wildlife Service’s Boating Infrastructure Grant program is in place to fun projects by both public and private agencies and marinas. Facilities that area constructed from funding aware by the BIG program are required to be secure, safe an have available service, designed and built to last at least 20 years, to be use by transient boaters, designed or use by boats that are at least 26 in length and must have a low water depth of at least 6 feet. Facilities built with this funding must also be constructed on water that has been designate navigable, there musts be a public pumpout with in 2 miles, they must be open to the public, they must be have maintenance for the entire time they area in use.