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Grants to Ohio Nonprofits, Agencies, School Systems, IHEs,
and Coast Guard Associations for Boating Safety Programs

Boating Safety Education Grant

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Parks and Watercraft

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

12/01/21 Postmarked or Emailed


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Grants of up to $30,000 to Ohio nonprofit organizations, government agencies, conservancy districts, school systems, IHEs, and coast guard associations for boating safety outreach and education activities. Applicants are advised that required registrations may take several weeks to finalize. The purpose of this program is to reduce boating mishaps, accidents, and fatalities through boater education.

The purpose of the Boating Safety Education Grant program is to support the establishment, development, expansion, promotion, and maintenance of safe boating programs benefiting the general public and to address boater expectations for courses meeting Ohio’s mandatory boating education law. The goals of this effort are to reduce boating accidents, mishaps and fatalities through awareness of boating hazards and risk management practices and to heighten the level of boating education and boating law compliance within Ohio.

The following are established requirements for grant applicants applying for funding to increase boating education efforts in local communities. The requirements are of high importance and are listed in a random order with no intended priority ranking. If the applicant does not state in a clear, detailed plan how their organization’s boating program will meet one, or more, of these requirements the applicant will not be eligible for funding that year.

  • Mandatory Boating Education Classes: It is important to provide year-round availability of approved classroom courses that will assist boaters in meeting the education requirements of Ohio’s mandatory boating education law. This law requires boaters born on or after January 1, 1982, to complete a NASBLA-approved course before operating a boat more than ten horsepower. A boater that is not required to meet the education requirement is more likely to voluntarily complete a course if courses are offered at convenient times in or near their local community. A minimum of four courses per year is required from programs that intend to offer NASBLA-approved courses. Programs offering more than four courses per year will be evaluated more favorably. Note: Funding will only be available for training, books, visual aids, classroom rental, and advertising.
  • Skill Development for Non-TraditionalBoating Groups: The department will award grant funds to organizations that can provide detailed plans on how their program will provide hands-on, skill development training of boat operation to the following user groups: individuals from urban areas, persons from Hispanic cultures/backgrounds, prisoners of war, veterans, or residents from the Appalachian counties of Ohio. A minimum of four courses per year is required.
  • Boating for People with Disabilities: Boating safety education must be available to all boaters regardless of disability. ODNR seeks to reduce barriers to access of educational programs. A traditional classroom setting, typical student materials, and standard boating equipment are not suited to every learning need. Funding consideration will be given to programs designed for people with disabilities and special needs. A minimum of four courses per year is required.
  • Paddling Rescue Programs: With the increasing popularity of paddle sports across the state, the department is looking to provide organizations with funding to teach safety and rescue boating education programs for paddling on Ohio’s waterways. The program must teach paddlers, higher than a basic level, rescue techniques for river, and/or flat water paddling. Topics to be included are proper personal flotation device wear, what to do in emergencies (falls overboard, capsizing) identifying hazards, self-rescues, rescuing other boaters, and managing groups on the water.

Note: Wearing life jackets properly is mandatory for all on-the-water programs and activities that are funded by this grant.

For allowable costs, see

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 140387

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grants range from $1,000 to $30,000. Advertising awards will be capped at $1,000 per application for all programs.

Term of Contract:

Note: For the 2022 Boating Safety Education Grant, grant recipients will be funded only for a two-year agreement.

The program period ending date is November 1.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The following agencies and organizations are eligible for the Boating Safety Education Grant:
- Coast Guard Auxiliary Association
- U.S. Power Squadrons
- Political Subdivisions, including state, county, city, township, and other local, regional, and statewide forms of government
- Conservancy districts
- State departments
- State-supported school systems, including colleges, universities, and local boards of education
- Non-profit organizations- 501c3 (proof of 501(c)3 nonprofit I.R.S. tax filing status must be in effect prior to the application deadline and attached to the application).

Pass-through grants are ineligible. For example, a 501(c)3 applies for the grant, but the funds are used by a for-profit entity

Grant funds and equipment purchased with grant funds are not for use outside the state of Ohio. Grant or cost-share money may not be used to pay invoices incurred prior to the Assistance Agreement’s full execution

For costs not allowed, see

Pre-proposal Conference:

Application Workshop
When: Thursday, October 21, 2021; 9am-1pm
Where: Ohio Department of Natural Resources
2045 Morse Road, Bldg. E-1
Columbus, Ohio 43229

Register to Craig Watson

Pre-Application Information:

- Boating Safety Education Grant applications must be postmarked on or before December 1, 2021.
- Applications also are accepted via email to Craig Watson on or before December 1, 2021.
- All applications must be complete when submitted.
- Annual Reports will be due by November 1, 2022.
- Final grant reports must be completed and submitted prior to November 1, 2023, to be eligible to receive funding for the next grant cycle. Ohio law does not permit overlapping program periods.

Grants are awarded on a "cost share" basis with the applicant matching at least 25% of the total program cost.

Applications will compete against other applications based on the stated goals and priorities of the Department of Natural Resources. When the review and approval process is complete, applicants will be notified by mail of the status of their applications. It is estimated that approval and regret letters will be mailed in the month of January.

To apply for a grant:
1. Gain a thorough understanding of grant program parameters
2. Consult with the appropriate ODNR field contact to discuss boating education needs in your local community.
3. Obtain the support of your organization before proceeding. Before entering into the formal agreement, political subdivisions must pass a resolution or ordinance and qualifying 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations must sign a letter of commitment.
4. Complete the Application for Assistance. Mail, or email, completed application.

Incomplete applications: match not met, nonprofit organization other than a 501(c) 3, a pass-through grant, no DUNS number, no current SAM, or applications postmarked after December 1, 2020, are some instances for disqualification.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Mail, or email, completed application with required attachments to:
Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Division of Parks and Watercraft
2045 Morse Road, Building C
Columbus, OH 43229

Direct questions to:
Craig Wilson, Education Grants Administrator
(614) 265-6674

Contact your local ODNR field office for input on local program and boating needs. For contact information, see

URL for Full Text (RFP):

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USA: Ohio

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