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Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) Program

Grants to Ohio Public and Private Agencies and Marinas for
Construction Projects to Enhance Recreational Boating Facilities

Agency Type:

State

Funding Source:

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Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Watercraft and US Fish and Wildlife Service

Deadline Date:

07/01/21

Description:

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Grants to Ohio public and private agencies, marinas, and other facilities for construction projects to enhance facilities for recreational boating. Eligible projects are those that provide public access to facilities for non-trailerable recreational boats when such boats are in transient status.

There are two levels of funding within the BIG Program:

  • Tier I: An annual maximum of $100,000 is available to each applying state under the Tier I portion of the BIG Program. States must submit projects that meet program requirements, but they are not competing for the funds against other states. Tier I is designed for smaller projects that add transient boating infrastructure to the area.
  • Tier II: The remainder of the BIG Program annual funding ($8 million nationally, less whatever is awarded under Tier I) is typically awarded to larger projects under Tier II. 

Facilities that participate in the program must allow the feature(s) constructed under the BIG Program to be open to the general public and provide access to shore along with other existing basic features of the facility such as fuel, pump outs, and restrooms. Some type of reservation system must also be available to ensure boaters space when they arrive. Access to other nonessential features of the facility is not required.

Reasonable rates (prevailing rates in the area) may be charged to boaters for transient mooring facilities constructed under the BIG Program. 

For a list of eligible projects and a list of project requirements, see the following link: https://ohiodnr.gov/static/documents/parks/grants/bigappGuidelines.pdf#page=4

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 145642

Estimated Size of Grant:

- Tier I: An annual maximum of $100,000 is available to each applying state under the Tier I portion of the BIG Program.
- Tier II: The remainder of the BIG Program annual funding ($8 million nationally, less whatever is awarded under Tier I) is typically awarded to larger projects under Tier II.

Term of Contract:

The agreement period may be up to three years.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

BIG Program funds are available to public and private agencies and marinas and other facilities that provide transient tie-up opportunities for non-trailerable (26' or over in length) recreational boats.

Activities that are NOT allowed under this program include:
- Routine, custodial and/or janitorial maintenance activities (those that occur regularly on an annual or more frequent basis)
- Construction of slips for long term rental (more than 10 days)
- Construction or maintenance of facilities designed for trailerable boats
- Maintenance dredging
- Dry land storage or haul out facilities
- Activities or construction that does not provide public benefit.

The applicant is obliged to cooperate with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources in order to ensure that the contractors comply with Equal Employment Opportunity requirements. This includes all bid advertisements.

Features proposed under the BIG Program cannot cause damage to the environment nor to historic features. If the scope and nature of your project requires an Environmental Assessment (EA) to be completed, it will be the grantee's responsibility to have the EA prepared and approved. All facilities must comply with requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Pre-Application Information:

The application deadline is July 1.

All funds are awarded to an appropriate State Agency as a reimbursement grant. For Ohio, the Division of Watercraft is designated as the administering agency for the BIG Program. The Division of Watercraft encourages local units of government and private facilities to participate in this program by submitting grant requests for transient facilities.

These federal funds can be used to reimburse up to 75% of the approved project costs. The remaining "matching" funds must come from state or local sources. For projects with local units of government and private facilities, the local partnering agency will provide the matching funds. The local partnering agency constructs the project, pays the contractor, and is reimbursed up to 75% of the invoice costs by the Division of Watercraft.

The applicant must be able to provide a minimum 25% match. Additional points are awarded at increments of 26%, 36%, and 50%. A clear statement describing the source of the matching funds is required.

Please note: While both tiers of the BIG Program are very competitive; the level of national competition within Tier II is especially high. Successful projects are of a superior nature and are submitted with very thorough applications. To be competitive in Tier II, it is recommendedd that even the best projects be submitted with a substantial percentage of matching dollars.

If you are considering applying for a Tier II project, it is recommended that you contact the funding source early in the application process so that they can provide assistance on the details of your application.

Contact Information:

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

Submit applications to:

ODNR Division of Watercraft,
ATTN: BIGP, 2045 Morse Road Building C-4,
Columbus OH 43229-6693

Program Contact:
Ted Welsh
614-265-6410
ted.welsh@dnr.state.oh.us

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Ohio

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