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Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) Program

Grants to California Agencies for Projects
that Improve Boating Infrastructure

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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California Department of Parks and Recreation - Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW)

Deadline Date:

07/31/20 5:00 PM PST Receipt


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Grants to California government agencies for capital projects that improve boating infrastructure. Funding is intended to support projects that build, maintain, and renovate private and public boating infrastructure tie-up facilities. Projects may also include the production of relevant educational materials.

Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) is now accepting applications for U.S. Fish and Wildlife, BIG Tier I and Tier II grants. DBW is the designated State entity for administering these programs. 

These federal grants are for boating infrastructure improvements that serve transient recreational vessels at least 26 feet in length. Transient vessels are those “passing through”, staying 15-days or less. Projects completed using BIG funds must be publicly accessible and may be publicly or privately owned.

BIG program is intended to:

  • Enhance access to recreational, historic, cultural and scenic resources
  • Strengthen community ties to the water’s edge and economic benefits
  • Promote public/private partnerships and entrepreneurial opportunities
  • Provide continuity of public access to the shore
  • Promote awareness of transient boating opportunities

Your project is eligible for funding if you propose to:

  1. Construct, renovate, and maintain either publicly or privately owned boating infrastructure tie-up facilities. 
  2. Do one-time dredging only, to give transient vessels safe channel depths between the tie-up facility and maintained channels or open water.
  3. Install navigational aids, limited to giving transient vessels safe passage between the tie-up facility and maintained channels or open water.
  4. Apply funds to grant administration.
  5. Fund preliminary costs
  6. Produce information and education materials such as charts, cruising guides, and brochures. 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 183996

Estimated Size of Grant:

- Tier I: Up to $200,000 is available for projects in California. Each Tier I grant cannot exceed $200,000; however, the State of California may award more than one (1) Tier I grant.
- Tier II: Up to $1.5 million may be awarded per project. A total of $10 million is available for Tier II projects nationally.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible federal grant applicants are the Governor-designated State agencies in the United States, the Commonwealths of Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands, and the territories of Guam, American Samoa, the United States Virgin Islands and the Mayor-designated agency in the District of Columbia.

The following agencies are eligible to apply with authority from their state government:
- City
- County
- Special District
- Federal Government
- Other Public Agency

Your project is ineligible for funding if you propose to:
(a) Complete a project that does not provide public benefits, for instance, a project that is not open to the public for use;
(b) Involve law enforcement activities;
(c) Significantly degrade or destroy valuable natural resources or alter the cultural or historic nature of the area;
(d) Construct or renovate principal structures not expected to last at least 20 years;
(e) Do maintenance dredging;
(f) Fund operations or routine, custodial, and janitorial maintenance of the facility;
(g) Construct, renovate, or maintain boating infrastructure tie-up facilities for nontrailerable vessels, for example the following:
(1) Tie-up slips available for occupancy for more than 10 consecutive days by a single party;
(2) Dryland storage;
(3) Haul-out features; and
(4) Boating features for trailerable or ‘‘car-top’’ boats (boats less than 26 feet in length), such as launch ramps and carry-down walkways.
(h) Develop a State program plan to construct, renovate, and maintain boating infrastructure tie-up facilities; and
(i) Conduct surveys to determine boating access needs.
(1) You may conduct the survey with funds allocated to motorboat access to recreational waters under subsection (b)(1) of section 8 of the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act of 1950, as amended (16 U.S.C. 777).
(2) You may combine surveys under one contractor where feasible if you can realize a cost or other savings.

Pre-Application Information:

Applications must be received by DBW on or before 5:00 p.m. PST on July 31, 2020.

State of California Department of Parks and Recreation, Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) will submit eligible project proposals to Your agency must submit your proposal to DBW by July 31, 2020. If you have any questions, contact Deborah Holmes.

All grants must meet the eligibility requirements of 50 CFR 86.20. See Supporting Documents below.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Online Grant Application (OLGA):

If you experience problems accessing the OLGA site, please clear your cache and try again. If problems persist, contact

Application packets may be requested by emailing

Applications should be submitted to:
Division of Boating and Waterways
ATTN: Deborah Holmes
One Capital Mall, Suite 500
Sacramento, CA 95814

Deborah Holmes
Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG)
(916) 327-1822

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: California

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