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Recreational Boating Facilities Grants

Grants to Wisconsin Lake Associations and Agencies
for Boating Infrastructure Improvements

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Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

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Grants to Wisconsin lake associations and government agencies for projects to develop boating infrastructure. Applicants must contact the funding source prior to submitting an application. Funding is intended for construction, repair, and renovation projects that improve the safety and quality of recreational boating infrastructure in the region.

Eligible projects:

  • Channel dredging - Dredging of inland water channels for recreational boating (not more than once in ten years).
  • Construction projects
    • Facilities such as ramps and boarding docks required to gain access to the water.
    • Harbors of refuge – structures such as bulkheads and breakwaters necessary to provide safe water conditions.
    • Dredging to provide safe water depths. Dredging of basins is an eligible activity only when it is associated with project development.
    • Support facilities include parking lots and signage, sanitary facilities, fencing and security lighting for the convenience of boaters.
  • Improvement and repair of locks - Cost of improvement and repair of locks and facilities that provide access between waterways for operators of recreational watercrafts.
  • Navigation aids - Cost of aids to navigation and regulatory markers including the cost of appropriate ground tackle.
  • Rehabilitation - Rehabilitation of capital improvements that are related to recreational boating facilities.
  • Trash skimming equipment - Acquisition of equipment to collect and remove floating trash and debris from a waterway.
  • Weed harvesting equipment - Acquisition of equipment that is necessary to cut and remove aquatic plants.

For a full list of eligible projects, click here:

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 164651

Estimated Size of Grant:

Eligible sponsors may receive a grant for up to 50% of the total eligible cost for a recreational boating facility project. The Commission may increase the cost share rate from 50% to 80% if it determines that the project is of statewide or regional significance and the project meets certain criteria. The Commission may approve an additional 10% cost sharing for a construction or dredging project if the project meets certain criteria.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants are Wisconsin counties, towns, cities, villages, tribes, sanitary districts, public inland lake protection and rehabilitation districts and qualified lake associations.

Recreational boating facilities funds may not be used for any of the following:
- With the exception of expenditures for engineering or planning costs necessary to develop a construction project for Commission review or the acquisition of navigation aids, costs incurred prior to the signed contract approval by the department.
- Maintenance dredging of basins
- The costs of repairing, moving or removing aids to navigation or regulatory markers.
- The cost of acquiring land associated with the project and construction of facilities commonly used to berth boats, e.g., finger piers for seasonal dockage.
- Any costs related to planning, engineering, dredging, handling, processing, transporting or depositing of contaminated dredge spoils; the purchase of land rights for a spoils deposition area or the cost of landfill storage of spoils; costs of land treatment to cover up a spoils deposit; and the cost of testing or monitoring as a condition of a state or federal permit.
- The cost of operation and maintenance of a lock, launch ramp or harbor of refuge.
- Ceremonial and publicity expenses, bonus payments, charges in excess of the lowest bid, interest expense, charges incurred contrary to the policies and practices of the applicant, damage judgments arising out of the construction of a facility, costs of discounts not taken, and fees paid to legal counsel.
- Pre-and post-treatment monitoring, information and education materials, preparation of aquatic plant management plans, spraying equipment or protection equipment.

Pre-Application Information:

Application deadline: February 1, 2020. The WWC Rating and Ranking meeting will take place on April 14, 2020.

DNR provides cost sharing of up to 50 percent for eligible costs. Except for project advances and navigation aid projects, claims for payment will be on a reimbursement basis.

Contact your DNR community service specialist before applying to discuss your potential project.

Contact Information:

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

To find your regional DNR contact, click here:

Department of Natural Resources
Grant Program Manager: Statewide
Bobbi Winebar
2984 Shawano Avenue
Green Bay, WI 54313-6727

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Wisconsin

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