Boating Infrastructure Grant Program (BIGP)

Important due dates

  • September 1, 2023: Proposal packet submitted to MN DNR for application review, revisions, and project ranking.
  • September 22, 2023: Application deadline (final submission to USFWS by DNR).
  • April 1, 2024: 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 2024 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 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 can qualify as an eligible action only if all dredging-related actions do not exceed $200,000 in Federal funds;
  • 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:
    • Complete a project that does not provide public benefits, for instance, a project that is not open for use by the public;
    • 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 50 CFR 86.11(a)(1);
    • Construct, renovate, or maintain boating infrastructure for: 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 50 CFR 86.16(a)(8);
    • Purchase supplies and other expendable personal property not directly related to
    • achieving the project objectives; or
    • 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).

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 its proposed useful life. 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
The maximum Federal award under BIG Tier 2 – National is 75 percent of the total allowable project cost up to $1.5 million. 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.

Buy America Provision for Infrastructure

As required by Section 70914 of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (Pub. L. 117-58), on or after May 14, 2022, none of the funds under a federal award that are part of a Federal financial assistance program for infrastructure may be obligated for a project unless all the iron, steel, manufactured products, and construction materials used in the project are produced in the United States, unless subject to an approved waiver. Recipients must include the requirements in this section of all contracts and purchase orders for work or products under this program. There may be instances where an award qualifies, in whole or in part, for an existing Department of the Interior (Department) general applicability waiver as described on the Department's General Applicability Waivers web page

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.

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