Department of the Interior

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Office of the Secretary
June 5, 2006
Contact: Nicholas Throckmorton, FWS
(202) 208-5636
Kempthorne Announces Boating Grants to Eight States

WASHINGTON -- Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne today announced that more than $8 million in grants for boating infrastructure enhancements such as repairing docks and installing new restrooms will go to Alabama, California, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Texas.

The grants are made available through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) program. Money for the program comes from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund supported by excise taxes paid on certain fishing, boating equipment and boat fuels.

"Boating makes an important contribution to local economies," Kempthorne said. "These grants empower state and local governments and other partners to improve recreational boating facilities, while 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 is a federally chartered body which advises the Secretary of the Interior and the Service on recreational fishing and boating issues. A Council-appointed committee made an initial funding recommendation to the Service based on a review of project proposals.

"Boaters contribute substantially to the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund through excise and fuels taxes," Kempthorne said. "These awards will fund needed docking projects for use by short-term visiting boaters."

The BIG program has two levels of funding, labeled Tier-1 and Tier-2. Under the Tier-1 portion, all states and territories can receive up to $100,000 to construct or improve docking facilities for transient (short term, non-trailerable boats) without competing against other proposals. Grants totaling $3,740,433 were made available to 38 states as part of this year's distribution under Tier-1.

The Tier-2 portion of the BIG program enables larger projects to compete for the remaining funding. These grants can match up to 75 percent of a project's cost.

The highlights of the funded proposals include:

Alabama: The Decatur Riverwalk Marina Transient Facilities, the city of Decatur and the Riverwalk Marina, LLC, will receive $236,127 and match $327,117 to construct a total of 20 transient boat slips for boaters using Wheeler Reservoir on the Tennessee River.

California: The Camp Emerald Bay Improvements on Santa Catalina Island will receive $445,000 and match $523,500 to construct a floating dock and dinghy dock.

Marina Del Rey, The Harbor Real Estate Group, The Boatyard and several cooperators will receive $825,000 and match $2,235,000 to modernize a dilapidated fuel dock to a state-of-the-art facility.

The Pier 38 Maritime Recreation Center in San Francisco will receive $1,500,000 and match $2,714,890 to construct a fuel dock and additional floating docks for transient boaters. The project is estimated to double the amount of transient dockage available in the local area.

The Westpoint Marina and Boat Yard in Redwood City will receive $693,153 and match $693,153 to construct new floating docks with utilities providing accommodations for up to 48 transient boats. This will improve facilities for transient boaters in the South San Francisco Bay area.

Maine: Camden Harbor Wharf Renovation will receive $300,000 and match $900,605 to repair a fuel dock wharf area and fund one-time dredging and the installation of 20 new transient slips.

Maryland: The Baltimore Inner Harbor Marine Center will receive $1,080,577 and match $1,124,683 to reconstruct the existing marina to provide 92 slips for transient boats.

New Jersey: The Key Harbor Transient Facilities in Waretown will receive $321,582 and match $172,105 to construct 12 transient slips with amenities through the installation of a bulkhead. Key Harbor Marina is centrally located to Long Beach Island and Tuckerton Seaport.

The Sandy Hook Bay Marina Transient Facilities in Borough of Highlands will receive $611,664 and match $611,661 to construct 32 transient slips by relocating the marina entrance and provide utilities for these sites.

New York: The Eagle Creek Marina in Kendall will receive $245,741 and match $267,765 to construct 24 new transient slips with utilities, add new restrooms, and install an updated sewage system and fuel dock for transient boaters at the Eagle Creek Marina.

Oregon: The Gleason Transient Tie-up and Wave Wall will receive $820,800 and match $461,700 to protect and improve the existing moorage for transient boaters at the M. James Gleason Boat Ramp, a major boating site on the Columbia River.

The Maple Street Transient Tie-up in Florence will receive $480,000 and match $370,000 to replace the aging transient docks located in the historic waterfront of Old Town. Approximately 270 feet of new concrete floats will be constructed to provide transient boaters access to this popular area.

The Sandy Beach on Government Island in the Columbia River will receive $544,000 and match $316,000 to complete the development of the Sandy Beach boat-only access.

Texas: Port Lavaca will receive $176,452 and match $75,623 to construct new boat slips for transient boaters. Specifically, the project will add 200 linear feet with six fingers to provide 12 new boats slips with electrical and water hookups.