As a growing number of communities realize the positive social and economic impacts of having convenient boating access along their local waterways, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) is excited to offer the next round of Boating Facility Grants to help communities capitalize on the surge in new boating activity.
The Boating Facility Grant program provides grants for planning, acquisition, development, expansion, and rehabilitation of public boating facilities located on the waters of the Commonwealth.
The PFBC encourages townships, boroughs, and municipal and county governments to apply. Nonprofit groups (501c3) including land trusts, conservancies, and watershed associations are also eligible to apply. Private businesses and service clubs are not eligible for direct funding but are encouraged to partner with their local county or municipality.
“We continue to see an increase in boating activity with more families and individuals looking to get outdoors,” said Tim Schaeffer, PFBC Executive Director. “Participation in paddlesports–like kayaking–has surged, leaving many existing boating access points overcrowded with paddlers eager to be on the water. Funds awarded through this grant program can help communities develop projects to improve existing access areas or develop something new to serve local residents and attract recreational boaters to their region.”
Applicants can seek grants for site acquisition, development, expansion, prevention of the spread of aquatic invasive species, and rehabilitation of recreational boat access facilities. Eligible construction projects may include, boat ramps, courtesy floats, restrooms, access roads, parking areas and signs. Funds may also be used to make facilities ADA compliant. Funding requests require a 50% match.
For the 2022 round of grants, the PFBC will accept applications from anywhere in the Commonwealth. The PFBC will give special consideration to projects that provide public boating access in the Delaware River watershed thanks to the availability of additional funding through the Delaware Watershed Conservation Fund.
The Fund, created in 2018, is funded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to achieve the goals of the Delaware River Basin Conservation Act. The Act guides and supports federal, state, regional, and local partners to collaboratively identify, prioritize, and implement habitat restoration and conservation activities within the watershed.
“Investing in impactful projects that connect people to the Delaware River and its many natural benefits is what collaborative conservation is all about,” said Wendi Weber, North Atlantic-Appalachian Regional Director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “The Service has a long history of working with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, and this successful effort is yet another example of how we can have a greater conservation impact when we work together.”
The deadline for applications is December 30, 2021.
For more information about the Boating Facility Grant Program and application form, visit the PFBC’s web site at https://www.fishandboat.com/Transact/Grants/Pages/BoatingFacilityGrantProgram.aspx.