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Boating Infrastructure Grants (BIG) Available


Transient Docks at the City of Norwalk’s Veterans Memorial Park were funded by a Connecticut Boating Infrastructure Grant

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has issued a Notice of Funding Opportunity for Boating Infrastructure Grants (BIG) for 2024 state grants. The BIG Program offers public and private marinas and other facilities funds for creation or renovation of transient facilities for recreational boats 26' or larger. There are multiple goals for the grants, all in the spirit of improving waterfront access and our coastal economy.


Levels of Funding

There are two levels of funding available - Tier 1 is at the state level and additional funds are available at the national Tier 2 level. Proposals and applications are submitted through state agencies.

The State of Connecticut has issued an RFP for Funding the Creation or Renovation of Tie-up Facilities for Transient Recreational Boats 26’ or Larger.

Questions are Due July 8, 2024

Proposals are Due July 29, 2024


The State of New York’s application deadline is August 22, 2024.

The State of Rhode Island’s submission deadline is September 4, 2024.


What types of projects can be funded?

  • Mooring buoys

  • Day-docks

  • Navigational aids (channel markers, buoys, directional information)

  • Transient slips (slips that boaters with recreational vessels occupy for no more than 15 consecutive days)

  • Safe harbors for transients

  • Floating docks and fixed piers

  • Floating and fixed breakwaters

  • Dinghy docks

  • Restrooms and showers

  • Retaining walls

  • Bulkheads

  • Dockside utilities

  • Recycling and trash receptacles

  • Dockside electric service

  • Dockside water supplies

  • Dockside pay telephones

  • Debris deflection booms

  • Marine fueling stations 

  • Dredging 


All facilities constructed under this program must be:

  • Secure and safe with service available

  • Designed and constructed such that each capital improvement component of the project has an identified useful life, and that useful life has been determined by using a generally accepted method which is referenced in the application.  In general, facilities with a longer useful life will be more competitive.

  • Used by transient boaters (boaters not at their home port and staying not more than 15 consecutive days)

  • Designed to accommodate boats 26' in length or greater

  • In boating access waters at least 6 feet deep (at low water)*

  • On designated navigable waters

  • Within two miles of a public pumpout

  • Open to the public

  • In compliance with the American’s with Disabilities Act

  • Used for the original stated grant purpose throughout the useful life of the project

  • Maintained throughout their useful life

*water depth less than 6’ at MLW may be allowed if an applicant demonstrates that the project can still serve the typical boater at that location.

“One of the key criteria of how applications are ranked is that the application conveys why the boaters need this project,” advises Bill Perry, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s BIG Coordinator.


Facilities that participate in the program must allow the feature(s) constructed under the BIG Program to be open to any eligible users along with other existing basic features of the facility such as fuel, pumpouts, and restrooms. Access to other nonessential features of the facility is not required. Reasonable rates (prevailing rates in the area) must be charged to boaters for transient mooring facilities constructed under the BIG Program.

Projects are ineligible for funding if the proposed activities include:

  • Activities or construction that does not provide a benefit to eligible users

  • Law enforcement patrols

  • Law enforcement activities against the applicant (i.e. un-permitted structures)

  • Law enforcement violations (i.e. operations without permits)

  • Degradation of valuable natural resources or cultural or historic nature of the area

  • Installation or maintenance of pumpout facilities or vessels

  • Land Acquisition

  • Construction, renovation or maintenance of shops, stores, food service or other retail businesses, lodging, facility administration or management

  • Construction, renovation or maintenance of facilities for boat transportation, storage, repair or other services

  • Purchase or operation of service boats to transport boaters to and from mooring areas

  • Marketing activities that do not focus on BIG or BIG-funded facility

  • Purchase of supplies or other expendable personal property not directly related to achieving the project objectives

  • Routine, custodial and/or janitorial maintenance activities (those that occur regularly on an annual or more frequent basis)

  • Construction or maintenance of facilities designed for trailerable boats

  • Construction of slips for long term rental (more than 15 days)

  • Dry land storage or haul out facilities

  • Any other activities that are inconsistent with the purposes of BIG or that are inconsistent with Federal Cost Principles


​Please let us know if we can be of assistance - RACE maintains experience and expertise related to BIG applications. 

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