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Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) Program

In order to be considered for the current funding cycle, the following four items must be received by your DNR Regional Community Services Specialist (CSS) by 4:30 PM, June 1.

The purpose of BIG is to construct, renovate, and maintain boating infrastructure facilities for transient recreational vessels at least 26 feet long.

Tier 1 - State
Provides up to $200,000 per year to each state. Projects are competitively ranked within the state.

Tier 2 - National
Provides up to $1,500,000 per project. Projects are competitively ranked at the national level.

Who can apply

Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) Program funds are available to public and private agencies, marinas and other facilities that provide transient tie-up (15 days or less) opportunities for large recreational boats 26 feet or more in length.

Eligibility

Eligibility

  • Construction, renovation, and maintenance of boating infrastructure tie-up facilities, solely for transient recreational vessels 26 feet or more in length.
  • Produce information and education materials specific to BIG or BIG funded projects (i.e. charts, cruising guides, and brochures).

Eligible activities

Some examples of potentially eligible activities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • boat slips, piers, mooring buoys, dinghy or courtesy docks, day docks and gangways;
  • fuel stations, restrooms, showers, utilities, laundry facilities and similar amenities;
  • lighting, communications, buoys, beacons, signals, markers, signs and security features;
  • planning, permitting, engineering, cultural, historic and environmental studies or assessments;
  • equipment and structures for collecting, disposing of or recycling liquid or solid waste from eligible vessels or for eligible users;
  • retaining walls, bulkheads, pilings and living shorelines;
  • debris deflection structures or water hazard removal;
  • dredging necessary to fulfill the purpose and objectives of the project;
  • maintenance of facilities during the project period;
  • repair or restoration of roads, parking lots, walkways or other surface areas damaged as a direct result of BIG-funded construction;
  • recording the federal interest in BIG-funded real property; and 
  • administration, coordination, and monitoring of BIG awards.

Ineligible activities

An application is ineligible for funding if it proposes to:

  • implement or support law enforcement activities;
  • significantly degrade or destroy valuable natural resources or alter the cultural or historic nature of the area;
  • support operations of a BIG-funded facility including routine custodial activities, service worker salaries, facility administration, utilities, rent, taxes or insurance;
  • develop a state program plan to construct, renovate or maintain boating infrastructure;
  • acquire land or any interest in land;
  • construct, renovate or maintain roads or parking lots, except as described at § 86.11(a)(1);
  • construct, renovate or maintain shops, stores, food service or other retail businesses, lodging, facility administration or management;
  • construct, renovate or maintain facilities for boat transportation, storage, repair or other services;
  • purchase or operate service boats to transport boaters to and from mooring areas;
  • conduct certain marketing activities that do not focus on BIG or the BIG-funded facility (see § 86.16(a)(8);
  • purchase supplies and other expendable personal property not directly related to achieving the project objectives; and
  • support other activities that are inconsistent with the purposes of BIG or that are inconsistent with Federal Cost Principles (see 2 CFR part 200, subpart F).

Special Conditions or Requirements

  • Facilities constructed, operated or maintained with grant funds must offer reasonable access for all transient recreational vessels for the full period of their useful life.
  • Facilities must be open to the public during reasonable time periods.
  • Entities may charge fees. Fees must be comparable to the prevailing rate in the area.
  • New construction and renovations must be designed to last throughout its useful life.
  • BIG grants require a minimum of 25% matching funds, federal share not to exceed 75% total costs.

Deadlines

In order to be considered for the current funding cycle, the following four items must be received by your DNR Regional Community Services Specialist (CSS) by 4:30 p.m., June 1. You can find your CSS here [PDF].

Applying

Before applying you should:

  1. read Program Guidance for U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Subaward Grant Program: Clean Vessel Act, Boating Infrastructure Grant, and Sportfish Restoration For Boat Access and Fishing Piers; and 
  2. contact the grant manager to discuss your project prior to submitting the program application.

Application materials

Submitting an application

All grant applications must be sent to the department by the date listed in the Deadlines Tab.
Email applications to DNRBIGCVASFRGrants@wisconsin.gov

In the subject line of the email, enter the type of grant you are applying for. All application materials should be saved in PDF format and should not exceed 15 megabytes (MB) in size. If email size (including attachments) exceeds 15 MB, send documents in multiple emails. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure the application has been submitted by the deadline. The applicant will receive a confirmation email when the application has been received or if any additional materials are required.

Reimbursements

Reimbursement materials

Contact

Contact information
For additional information about the Boating Infrastructure Grant Program, please contact:
Faith Murray
Interim Grant Manager