Zinke also announces $32 million in grants nationwide
YORKTOWN, Virginia—U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced Friday Guam will receive a Boating Infrastructure Grant of $200,000 to improve boating infrastructure and provide opportunities for outdoor recreation.
Zinke announced the funds, part of $32 million nationwide, at an event with boating, recreation and tourism leaders in Yorktown, Virginia.
Zinke made the announcement at the Yorktown Historic Freight Shed Lawn, where he was joined by Virginia Rep. Scott Taylor. Following the event, Zinke had a roundtable discussion with boating and fishing stakeholders focusing on the relationship between Interior and the boating industry.
The funding announced Friday is through three grant programs: $14.7 million through the Boating Infrastructure Grant 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 critical support 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 Zinke. “Although these grants come from different funding sources, none would be possible without great partnerships.”
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 http://wsfrprograms.fws.gov/. (DOI)