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Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) Program

Grants to North Carolina Marinas, Municipalities,
and NGOs for Boating Facility Improvements

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) - Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF)

Deadline Date:

08/13/18 5:00 PM Receipt


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Grants to North Carolina public or private marinas, municipalities, agencies, and NGOs for boating facility infrastructure improvements. Funding is intended for improvements to existing infrastructure or for the creation of new infrastructure and related facilities.

The BIG Program provides matching grants to U.S. States and Territories for the installation of tie-up facilities for transient, recreational vessels 26 feet or more in length. You may propose to construct new boating infrastructure and supporting facilities where none existed before, or propose a major renovation to existing infrastructure. Applications for major renovation or projects that supplement previously-funded BIG projects are eligible.

The BIG Program has two funding levels:

Tier 1 — State
Each year, the division seeks proposals for eligible projects totaling up to $200,000. Proposals are reviewed and ranked at the state level. Applicants should demonstrate the need for their project in N.C., and their ability to successfully complete and manage the project. The division may request funding for multiple Tier 1 projects; however, the total annual request cannot exceed $200,000. It is not uncommon for more than one project to be funded in a given year.

Tier 2 – National
BIG Tier 2 awards are a result of a national funding competition based solely on individual merit. Tier 2 projects are those totaling greater than $200,000 and typically range up to $1.5 million. Approximately $12 million is available annually for projects across the nation. Each year, Tier 2 proposals submitted to the division are reviewed and scored against ranking criteria used in the national competition. Complete proposals that meet program requirements, demonstrate a need in North Carolina, leverage existing facilities or matching funds, demonstrate an ability to successfully complete the project and are cost efficient are likely to be submitted to the USFWS national funding competition. These proposals are then reviewed, evaluated and ranked by a national panel with the final decision for funding made by the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Boating infrastructure means the structures, equipment, accessories, and services that are necessary or desirable for a facility to accommodate eligible vessels. Transient vessels are those passing through or by a place, staying up to 15 days. Projects completed using BIG funds must provide public access, but may be publicly or privately owned.

Some examples of potentially eligible activities include but are not limited to the following:
a) Boat slips, piers, mooring buoys, dinghy or courtesy docks, day docks, and gangways;
b) Fuel stations, restrooms, showers, utilities, laundry facilities, and similar amenities;
c) Lighting, communications, buoys, beacons, signals, markers, signs, security features;
d) Floating or fixed breakwaters, wave attenuators, sea walls, and other improvements that provide a harbor of safe refuge;
e) Planning, permitting, engineering, cultural, historic, and environmental studies or assessments necessary to construct boating infrastructure;
f) Equipment and structures for collecting, disposing of, or recycling liquid or solid waste from eligible vessels or for eligible users;
g) Retaining walls, bulkheads, pilings, and living shorelines;
h) Debris deflection structures or water hazard removal;
i) Dredging necessary to fulfill the purpose and objectives of the project;
j) Maintenance of facilities during the project period;
k) Repair or restoration of roads, parking lots, walkways, or other surface areas damaged as a direct result of BIG-funded construction;
l) Information and education materials specific to BIG or a BIG-funded project that credits BIG as a source of funding;
m) Recording the Federal interest in BIG-funded real property; and
n) Administration, coordination, and monitoring of BIG awards.

Unless the following features are already part of a facility, or are funded through another source, at project completion a BIG Tier 1 – State-funded facility must:
a. Limit use of overnight docks and moorings to eligible boats that are 26 feet or more in length staying no more than 15 consecutive days;
b. Serve its intended purpose for its useful life as originally proposed or as extended, except in the case of a catastrophic event;
c. Clearly designate eligible uses and inform the public of restrictions;
d. Offer security, safety, and service for eligible users and vessels;
e. Be open and accessible to eligible vessels on navigable waters that are at least 6 feet deep at the lowest tide or fluctuation, unless you can show that the facility will still serve its intended purpose for typical eligible users that visit that location;
f. Allow public access;
g. If you allow overnight stays or as required by State or local laws, provide pump-out service where such service is not located within 2 nautical miles.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 183993

Estimated Size of Grant:

Tier 1 — State
Each year, the division seeks proposals for eligible projects totaling up to $200,000. The division may request funding for multiple Tier 1 projects; however, the total annual request cannot exceed $200,000. It is not uncommon for more than one project to be funded in a given year.

Tier 2 – National
Tier 2 projects are those totaling greater than $200,000 and typically range up to $1.5 million.

Term of Contract:

Once a grant has been awarded to DMF, projects have up to a three-year period to be completed.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Both publicly owned and privately-owned marina facilities that are open to the public and located in North Carolina are eligible to apply for funding, including private marinas, local municipalities, other State agencies or other non-governmental entities.

Examples of ineligible activities include, but are not limited to:
- Commercial vessel infrastructure
- Tie-up facilities not open to the public
- Haul-out features
- Dry-land storage
- Law enforcement activities
- Acquisition of land or interest in land
- Services or structures for food, retail, lodging or facility administration (exp. ship’s store and dockmaster’s office)

Pre-Application Information:

Proposals must be submitted electronically to the N.C. BIG Program Coordinator by 5:00 PM, Monday, Aug. 13, 2018 to be considered.

The maximum federal cost-share for BIG Tier 1 and Tier 2 awards is 75 percent. However, applicants are encouraged to provide more than the minimum cost share required as the cost share percentage is a factor used in ranking Tier 2 proposals.

The USFWS expects to announce both Tier 1 and Tier 2 awards by March 2019. Award announcements do not necessarily guarantee funding, which is contingent upon the grantee receiving all required permits and compliance approvals. Funds will not be obligated until compliance requirements have been met. The earliest expected award start date is July 1, 2019 under this funding opportunity.

BIG funds are disbursed to grantees only on a reimbursement basis.

N.C. Boating Infrastructure Grant Program:

Contact Information:

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

Please submit applications via email to:
Vicky Pohoresky, Federal Aid Coordinator

Or mail/hand deliver applications to:
N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries
3441 Arendell Street
P.O. Box 769
Morehead City, NC 28557

CFDA Number:


Funding or Pin Number:

F18AS00160, F18AS00161

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: North Carolina