Department Of Interior

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Office of the Secretary
Nicholas Throckmorton, FWS (202) 208.5636
For Immediate Release: Feb. 17, 2004
Secretary Norton Announces $859,000 Grant
to Improve San Francisco Boating Facilities


Interior Secretary Gale Norton today announced an $859,000 grant to help the State of California improve boating access on the San Francisco waterfront.

The grant, awarded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under its Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) program, will be matched by $1.7 million in funds and in-kind services from partners including the California Department of Boating and Waterways, the Port of San Francisco, and Pier 39 Ltd.

The project will result in better and safer facilities for recreational boaters and increased tourism in the area. Specifically, the grant funds will help fund a one-time dredging of the West Marina to allow access for large, deep drafting transient boats. In addition, the project will reconstruct transient docks that are in disrepair.

The renovated docks will provide 17 boat slips for transient boats up to 60 feet in length, resulting in an additional 9,300 transient boaters to the area. These recreational boaters are expected to pump an estimated $1.5 million into the local economy.

"We understand the importance of having safe and accessible tie-up facilities and the economic impact that boating can bring to local economies," Norton said. "The BIG program works with partners to improve recreational boating and fishing opportunities. It strengthens community ties to the water's edge by enhancing access to recreational, historic, cultural, natural and scenic resources for millions of boat owners."
The BIG proposals are reviewed by a panel of representatives from the Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as a committee from the Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council.

The council, a federally chartered body which advises the Secretary of the Interior and the Service on recreational fishing and boating issues, made an initial funding recommendation to the Service based on a review of project proposals by a council-appointed committee.

The council's Boating Infrastructure Grant Program Review Committee members included: Mike Hough, Kentucky Department of Fish and WIldlife Resources; Ryck Lydecker, BoatUS; Jim Hardin, Grady White Boats; Jim Frye, Marina Operators Association of America; John Schwartz, Michigan Sea Grant Extension Program; and Doug Boyd, Coastal Conservation Association.

Much of the BIG program is funded by fuels taxes, paid by boaters, deposited into the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund.

The BIG program has two levels of funding, Tier-1 and Tier-2. The Tier-2 portion of the BIG program provides for larger projects to compete for available funding. The Service received 32 proposals from 17 states requesting a total of $17.8 million of federal funding from the Tier-2 portion of the BIG program this year. Due to current funding limitations, approximately $1 million was available for Tier-2 projects.

Under the Tier-1 portion, all states and territories can receive up to $100,000 for docking facilities for transient, non-trailerable boats without competing against other proposals. Thirty states and two territories requested funding for the Tier-1 portion of the program this fiscal year and received approximately $3.07 million of funding.

For more information about the BIG program, contact the Boating Infrastructure Grant Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Federal Aid, Mailstop MBSP-4020, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22203 or call 703-358-2156.



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