Boating Infrastructure Grant Program (BIGP)

Important due dates

  • Submission deadline extended to August 25, 2022: Proposal packet submitted to MN DNR for application review, revisions, and project ranking.
  • September 22, 2022: Application deadline (final submission to USFWS by DNR).
  • April 1, 2023: USFWS expected award date.

General information

This program was created under the Sportfishing and Boating Safety Act of 1998 to provide funding to the 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealths of Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands, and the territories of Guam, American Samoa, and the U.S. Virgin Islands (States) for the construction, renovation and maintenance of boating infrastructure facilities for transient recreational vessels at least 26 feet long that are operated, leased, rented, or chartered primarily for pleasure.

Please download and use the revised 2023 Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) application form and the additional required documents to complete your application.

Applicants can download the free Applicants guide to the Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) program from the State Organization for Boating Access (SOBA) website for guidance.

Program purpose

The purpose of the BIG is to construct, renovate, and maintain boating infrastructure facilities for transient recreational vessels at least 26 feet long.  Projects completed using BIG funds must provide public access.

Levels of financial assistance

Tier I - State
Financial assistance up to $200,000 per year to each State. Applications for projects are competitively ranked within the State. For a copy of a Tier I application please contact Nasra Mohamoud listed at the bottom of the page.

Tier II – National
Financial assistance up to $1,500,000 per project. Proposals are reviewed, evaluated and ranked by a national panel with the final decision for funding made by the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The ranking criteria, eligible projects and regulations are listed in 50 CFR 86. For a copy of a Tier II application please contact Nasra Mohamoud listed at the bottom of the page.

Who may apply

Public and private agencies that provide transient tie-up (15 days or less) opportunities for large recreational boats 26 feet or greater in length.

Eligible activities

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; security features;
  • Floating or fixed breakwaters, wave attenuators, sea walls and other improvements that provide a harbor of safe refuge;
  • Planning, permitting, engineering, cultural, historic and environmental studies or assessments necessary to construct boating infrastructure;
  • Equipment and structures for collecting, disposing of, or recycling liquid or solid waste from eligible vessels or for eligible users;
  • Retaining walls, bulkheads, pilings, living shorelines;
  • Debris deflection structures, 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;
  • Information and education materials specific to BIG or a BIG-funded project that credits BIG as a source of funding;
  • Recording the Federal interest in BIG-funded real property; and
  • Administration, coordination, and monitoring of BIG awards.

Ineligible activities

  • These actions or costs are ineligible for BIG funding:
  • Law enforcement.
  • Direct administration and operation of the facility, such as salaries, utilities, and janitorial duties. Janitorial duties may include:
    • Routine cleaning;
    • Trash and litter collection and removal; and
    • Restocking paper products.
  • Developing a State plan to construct, renovate, or maintain boating infrastructure.
  • Acquiring land or any interest in land.
  • Constructing, renovating, or maintaining roads or parking lots, except limited action as described at §86.11(a)(1).
  • Constructing, renovating, or maintaining boating infrastructure for:
    • Shops, stores, food service, other retail businesses, or lodging;
    • Facility administration or management, such as a harbormaster’s or dockmaster’s office; or
    • Transportation, storage, or services for boats on dry land, such as dry docks, haul-outs, and boat maintenance and repair shops.
  • Purchasing or operating service boats to transport boaters to and from mooring areas.
  • Marketing. Examples of ineligible marketing actions include:
    • Giveaway items promoting the business or agency;
    • General marina or agency newsletters or Web sites promoting the marina or agency;
    • Exhibits at trade shows promoting anything other than the BIG-funded facility; and
    • Outreach efforts directed at the marina as a business or the agency as a whole and not focused on BIG or the BIG-funded facility.
  • Constructing, renovating, or maintaining boating infrastructure that does not:
    • Include design features as described at §86.13;
    • Serve eligible vessels or users; and
    • Allow public access as described at §86.92.
  • Purchase of supplies and other expendable personal property not directly related to achieving the project objectives.  
  • Other activities may be ineligible for BIG funding if they are inconsistent with the:
  • Purpose of BIG; or
  • Applicable Cost Principles at 2 CFR part 200, subpart F.

Priorities of grant opportunity

  • Waterbodies with a substantial number of boats at least 26 feet long.
  • Waterbodies with underserved transient boater needs.
  • Public or private agency must operate and maintain the federally funded facility, in satisfactory conditions approved by the MN DNR, for at least 20 years.  Any agencies receiving BIG federal funding will be required to enter into and have a Notice of Grant Agreement recorded and attached to the deed of record.

Level of assistance
Up to 75% of total eligible costs. NOTE: The sub-recipient must pay for project expenses in-full and meet all terms of the grant agreement and sub-recipient contract prior to seeking reimbursement.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Boating Infrastructure Grant Program Final Rule (50 CFR 86).

Application contact
Nasra Mohamoud, Grant Coordinator
MN DNR, Division of Parks and Trails
Box 39, 500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul MN 55155-4039
Email: [email protected]
Please email for questions or application requests.