HARRISBURG, Pa. (November 20) – The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) reminds potential applicants for the Boating Facility Grant Program that the deadline to apply is December 30, 2020.
"Please don't wait until the last minute to apply for this grant opportunity," said Richard Lewis, President of the PFBC Board of Commissioners. "If there is a boating facility project that could enhance recreational boating opportunities in your community, now is the time to determine if the project is eligible to benefit from this program, which can significantly ease the financial burden on our partners."
This program is open to townships, boroughs, municipal and county governments as well as nonprofit groups (501c3) including land trusts, conservancies and watershed associations that are interested in the planning, acquisition, development, expansion or rehabilitation of public boating access areas.
Local governments and eligible nonprofit groups may use funds awarded through the program to provide or improve public recreational boat access facilities in their communities that are open and available for general public use.
Applicants can seek grants for site acquisition, project design and engineering, development, expansion, removal of aquatic invasive species, and major rehabilitation of recreational boat access facilities. Activities must benefit and directly support public recreational boating. Eligible projects must be constructed on lands owned in "fee simple" by the project sponsor or, where ownership is less than fee simple interest, ownership rights must provide for permanent control of the property commensurate with the proposed development. Eligible construction projects include, but are not limited to, boat ramps, courtesy floats, restrooms, access roads, parking areas, landscaping in direct relation to access development, transient tie-up floats, and signs. Grant funds can be used only for major site improvements and not for any routine maintenance or operation activities.
For the 2021 round of grants, the PFBC will accept applications from anywhere in the Commonwealth. Thanks to the availability of additional federal funding through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the PFBC will give special consideration to projects that provide public boating access in the Delaware River watershed.
Successful applicants must agree to provide a 50% grant match and be willing to enter into a long-term agreement to keep the facility open to free public use for its useful life. The PFBC will give priority funding consideration to applicants that provide more than the required 50% match, thereby reducing the total amount of grant funds required to complete the project.
The Boating Facility Grant Program is a reimbursable grant program. Grant funds will be disbursed to the applicant/recipient only after completion of the project occurs and agency staff has verified that the work has been completed.
Program grant funds are available in each annual state fiscal period as authorized and allocated by the PFBC. All work funded for this round of grants should be completed by December 30, 2022. The Commission may adjust the amount of funds available, application, and consideration dates to meet existing needs or opportunities that may occur. Large projects may be phased in over several fiscal years to maximize leverage, distribution, and availability of funds.
The PFBC gives highest priority to the rehabilitation of existing facilities, followed by expansion of existing facilities, and then acquisition and development of new boating facilities. The Commission will rank projects based on local, regional and statewide needs such as boat use and number of boaters served, relationship to adjacent or nearby public and private boating facilities (ramps and/or marinas) and needs based on strategic statewide, regional or local plans.
Boating Facility Grant Program funds are derived from boat registration fees, Use (Launch) Permits for unpowered boats, state fuel taxes collected on fuel used in motorboats, and taxes on fishing equipment and motorboat fuel from the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Program.
For more information about the Boating Facility Grant Program and for application forms, visit the PFBC's website.