Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) Program Summary
Who is eligible to apply?
BIG Program funds are available to public and private agencies and marinas and other facilities that provide public transient tie-up opportunities for non-trailerable (26' or over in length) recreational boats in areas that have 6' or more depth at MLW.
When is the application deadline?
Applications are due on August 1st of each year. The BIG Program is funded through the Sport Fish Restoration Account of the Aquatic Resources (Wallop Breaux) Trust Fund.
All grant proposals for both Tier I and Tier II projects, are due to Li Lan Carson in the Boating Services Unit, Tawes State Office Building, 580 Taylor Ave., E-4, Annapolis, MD. 21401, by August 1 of each year.
Where do funds come from?
Authorized by Congress during the summer of 1998, The Sport Fishing and Boating Safety Act, authorizes this competitive grant program. Funds come from the Sport Fish Restoration Account of the Aquatic Resources (Wallop Breaux) Trust Fund. The funds result from a Federal excise tax on fishing equipment and motorboat fuels.
How are funds awarded?
All funds are awarded to State Agencies. For Maryland, The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Division of Boating Services is designated as the administering agency for the Boating Infrastructure Grant Program. The Division of Boating Services encourages local units of government and private facilities to participate in this program by submitting grant requests for transient facilities.
These federal funds can be used to reimburse up to 75% of the approved project costs. The remaining "matching" funds must come from state, local, or non-federal sources. For projects with local units of government and private facilities, the local partnering agency may provide the matching funds.
Two levels of funding within BIG Program
There are two levels of funding within the Boating Infrastructure Grant Program:
Tier I: An annual maximum of $100,000 is available to each applying state under the Tier I portion of the BIG Program. States must submit projects that meet program requirements, but they are not competing for the funds against other states. Tier I is designed for smaller projects that add transient boating infrastructure to the area.
Tier II: The remainder of the BIG Program annual funding is typically awarded to larger projects under Tier II. Tier II projects that qualify at the state level are then competitively judged at the national level. Top scoring projects are awarded and eligible for funding status by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service http://wsfrprograms.fws.gov/Subpages/GrantPrograms/BIG/BIG.htm. Awarded projects are fully funded as long as funds are available.
Please note: While both tiers of the BIG Program are very competitive; the level of national competition within Tier II is especially high. Successful projects are of a superior nature and are submitted with very thorough applications. To be competitive in Tier II, we recommend that even the best projects be submitted with a substantial percentage of matching dollars.
We recommend that if you are considering applying for a Tier II project that you contact us early in the application process so that we can provide assistance on the details of your application. Applications are available by clicking on this link http://www.dnr.state.md.us/boating/pdfs/big_application.doc.
When can the project begin?
Applicants cannot start a project until entering into formal agreement with the Maryland State Department of Natural Resources. Although this is a reimbursement program, no reimbursement will be given for any work performed prior to entering into a formal agreement with Maryland State Department of Natural Resources. The formal agreement is a document (see sample below) signed by both the grant recipient and the Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources. Any costs incurred prior to the Secretary’s signing this agreement are the sole responsibility of the applicant and will not be reimbursed by the Maryland State Department of Natural Resources. The Maryland State Department of Natural Resources will send the applicant a fully executed agreement with a formal letter stating permission to proceed with the project. Although each agreement/contract is negotiated separately, see the sample agreement for reference.
For additional information about the Maryland State BIG program, please direct your inquiries to:
Attn: Li Lan Carson
Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Boating Service Unit
Boating Program Implementation
Tawes State Office Building – E-4
580 Taylor Avenue
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
Chesapeake Bay Hotline
Call 1-877-224-7229to report any of the following
- Boating accident or reckless activity
- Fish kill or algal bloom
- Floating debris that poses a hazard to navigation
- Illegal fishing activity
- Public sewer leak or overflow
- Oil or hazardous material spill
- Critical area or wetlands violation
- Suspicious or unusual activity