– The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries is accepting proposals for the Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) program for federal fiscal year 2008.
BIG is a program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that reimburses up to 75 percent of projects that provide docking and other facilities for recreational transient vessels that are at least 26 feet long. It was authorized by Congress in 1998 and is funded by excise taxes on fishing equipment and motorboat fuel.
DMF serves as the liaison between projects in North Carolina and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the BIG program.
Types of project that could be funded include mooring buoys, day-docks, transient slips, safe harbor facilities (including temporary safe anchorage or a harbor of refuge during a storm), floating and fixed piers and breakwaters, dinghy docks, restrooms, retaining walls, bulkheads, dockside utilities, trash collections and recycling facilities, dockside electric, water and telephone capabilities, navigational aids and marine fueling stations.
BIG may also fund one-time dredging to provide access between open water and a tie-up facility.
BIG funds are distributed each year over a four-year period. Grants are provided on a two-tiered basis. For Tier-I grants, all states get at least $100,000 per grant cycle as long as their proposals meet the program's guidelines. Tier-II projects are designated for larger, more expensive undertakings and are awarded on a nation-wide competitive basis.
Last year the towns of Morehead City and Washington competed successfully at the Tier II national level for money to help build transient boat slips near their downtowns. Morehead City received $310,000 and Washington received $200,000.
For information about grant availability contact Brian Cheuvront, federal aid coordinator, N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, by mail at PO Box 769, Morehead City, NC 28557-0769; by phone at (252) 808-8015 or (800) 682-2632 (in NC only); or via e-mail at [email protected]
. The deadline for applications to be received by the Division of Marine Fisheries is Sept. 28.