Secretary Zinke Announces Nearly $32 Million in Boating Recreation and Tourism Grants

Grants focus on keeping water clean for anglers, improving boating infrastructure and preserving maritime heritage

(YORKTOWN, VA) – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke today announced nearly $32 million in maritime- and boating-related grants that will benefit boating recreation and tourism by improving boating infrastructure, keeping water clean for anglers, and preserving maritime heritage and inland waterways. Secretary Zinke made the announcement at the Yorktown Historic Freight Shed Lawn at the Riverwalk Landing, where he was joined by local Congressman Scott Taylor.

The Secretary announced more than $769,000 for Virginia at the Yorktown Historic Freight Shed Lawn at the Riverwalk Landing, which is slated to receive grant money. These funds supported wave attenuating transient docking facilities, restrooms and upgraded safety and security features benefiting recreational boaters. Prior to the event, the Secretary engaged in a round table discussion with a variety of local boating and fishing stakeholders focusing on the relationship between the Department of the Interior and the boating industry.

The national funding announced today is made possible through three grant programs: $14.7 million through the Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) program, $15.4 million in funds through the Clean Vessel Act program, and $1.7 million in Maritime Heritage Grants.

“These three grant programs provide support for boating recreation and tourism to local communities, whether through the preservation of American maritime heritage or by ensuring the facilities and waters anglers and boaters depends on are in the best condition,” said Secretary Zinke. “Although these grants come from different funding sources, none would be possible without great partnerships.”

“Every day I work in Congress to put Virginia's Second District on Washington, D.C.'s priority list, and today I'm happy to say the Trump Administration and Secretary Zinke proved their commitment to our community,” said Rep. Scott Taylor. “Today's grants, which are mostly funded through the sale of boating equipment, will benefit boating recreation and tourism industries by improving infrastructure, protecting water, and preserving our shared coastal heritage. Today's​ announcement is a win for our community, our state and our nation.”

State/Territory BIG Grant Tier I BIG Grant Tier II Clean Vessel Act Maritime Heritage Total
Alabama $200,000   $265,861   $465,861
Arizona $200,000       $200,000
Arkansas     $867,454   $867,454
California    $1,500,000 $2,193,713 $340,530 $4,034,243
Connecticut $123,170   $1,448,580 $112,939 $1,684,689
DC  $199,995     $49,700 $249,695
Delaware $200,000       $200,000
Florida     $1,816,764 $110,962 $1,927,726
Georgia $77,761   $82,281   $160,042
Guam  $200,000       $200,000
Idaho  $200,000   $30,000   $230,000
Illinois       $82,277 $82,277
Indiana  $76,161       $76,161
Iowa  $200,000     $66,999 $266,999
Kentucky  $165,000       $165,000
Maine  $200,000 $1,890,165 $405,280 $92,141 $2,587,586
Maryland        $152,389 $152,389
Massachusetts  $193,319   $788,903 $50,000 $1,032,222
Michigan  $200,000 $642,917 $314,864   $1,157,781
New Hampshire      $162,121   $162,121
New Jersey  $200,000       $200,000
New York  $118,624     $299,557 $418,181
North Carolina  $149,723   $167,773   $317,496
Ohio  $200,000   $393,232 $18,540 $611,772
Oklahoma  $200,000       $200,000
Oregon  $200,000   $1,452,138   $1,652,138
Pennsylvania  $200,000     $107,689 $207,689
Rhode Island  $200,000     $105,000 $305,000
South Carolina  $200,000 $1,882,512 $1,386,395   $3,468,907
Tennessee  $200,000   $392,539   $592,539
Texas  $200,000 $1,500,000     $1,700,000
Vermont  $200,000   $97,966   $297,966
Virginia  $189,877   $416,097 $163,350 $769,324
Washington  $199,661 $2,134,210 $2,533,765   $4,867,636
Wisconsin  $200,000   $225,841   $425,841
Totals  $5,193,291 $9,549,804 $15,441,567 $1,752,073 $31,936,735

Boating Infrastructure Grants

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s “BIG” program provides funding to support dedicated boat tie-up facilities and associated amenities and helps Americans enjoy the nation’s waters and our cherished wildlife, natural and cultural resources.

Approximately $9.5 million will be awarded competitively to support 10 projects in six states under the BIG, from which states can receive up to $1.5 million in federal funding per project. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will also provide approximately $5.2 million to 29 states, commonwealths and territories under the BIG Tier I subprogram, from which recipients can obtain up to $200,000 in federal funding. States and their partners will provide more than $14.5 million in additional non-federal matching funds toward these projects.

Funding for the BIG program comes from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, which boaters and manufacturers fund through excise and other taxes on certain fishing and boating equipment and gasoline. Since its inception in 2000, the BIG program has awarded $180 million to projects for large transient recreational boats, including the construction of more than 5,000 berths for boaters across most states and U.S. territories.

For more information about the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program visit

Clean Vessel Act Grants

$15.4 million will go to 20 states through Clean Vessel Act program grants from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Pump-out systems built or purchased with these funds ensure recreational boaters have a safe, convenient and effective method to dispose of on-board sewage. The funds also support associated boater education programs. 

Boaters and manufacturers contribute to the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund through excise taxes and duties on certain fishing and boating equipment and boating fuels.

Since the program’s inception in 1993, the Service has allocated more than $234 million from that fund in CVA grants to U.S. states and territories to help keep the nation’s waterways clean.

The CVA program’s support through the user-pay-public-benefit cycle has contributed to the success of the Sport Fish Restoration program. States can apply for CVA funding, and they or their partners provide matching funds to complete projects. Sub-grantees often include local municipalities and private marinas. These partnership efforts are a win-win for clean water and the many families who enjoy recreational boating and the great outdoors.

Maritime Heritage Grants

The National Park Service is distributing $1,752,073 for 27 maritime heritage grants to applicants in 13 states and the District of Columbia. In partnership with the Maritime Administration (MARAD), the National Park Service awarded grants for projects that teach about and preserve sites and objects related to our nation’s maritime history.

The National Park Service will administer these projects as direct grants to State Historic Preservation Offices, who will disburse funds to applicants.

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