Last month, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) unveiled over $21 million in grants through the Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) program, aimed at enhancing marinas and boating facilities in 21 states. This initiative, crucial for the recreational boating industry, allocates $4.4 million to 18 states under BIG Tier 1 and $17 million to 12 states under BIG Tier 2.

States like Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, New York, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin are among the largest beneficiaries. USFWS Director Martha Williams emphasized the economic and community benefits of these grants, which will create 187 new slips, 7,768 linear feet of docking space, and additional amenities for transient recreational boaters.

Funded by the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, the BIG program supports projects that enhance access and facilities for boats 26 feet or longer, used for recreation and staying 15 days or less. The grants also promote education and information dissemination about recreational boating.

This significant funding underscores the importance of boater access to waterways and the ongoing commitment to infrastructure development, benefiting both local economies and the boating community at large.