Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Fish & Boat Commission Now Accepting Applications For Boating Facility Grants

On November 4, the Fish and Boat Commission announced it is now accepting applications for Boating Facility Program Grants.  The deadline for applications is December 31.
This program is open to townships, boroughs, municipal and county governments as well as nonprofit groups, including land trusts, conservancies and watershed associations that are interested in the planning, acquisition, development, expansion or rehabilitation of public boating access areas.
Local governments and eligible nonprofit groups may use funds awarded through the program to provide or improve public recreational boat access facilities in their communities that are open and available for general public use.
"With the soaring popularity of boating in Pennsylvania, especially kayaking and other forms of paddling, many communities are looking to make their recreational waterways more welcoming and accessible," said Richard Lewis, a PFBC boating-at-large Commissioner and Chair of the PFBC Boating Committee. "I am pleased that the Commission has re-established its Boating Facility Grant Program. These grant dollars will be a great help to local organizations and communities in planning, developing, constructing and maintaining motorized and non-motorized boating accesses on Pennsylvania's 86,000 miles of rivers and streams. The Commission looks forward to sharing the cost of increasing boating opportunities for our Commonwealth's recreational anglers and boaters."
Applicants can seek grants for site acquisition, project design and engineering, development, expansion and major rehabilitation of recreational boat access facilities. Activities must benefit and directly support public recreational boating.
Eligible projects must be constructed on lands owned in "fee simple" by the project sponsor; or where ownership is less than fee simple interest, ownership rights must provide for permanent control of the property commensurate with the proposed development.  
Eligible construction projects include: boat ramps, courtesy floats, restrooms, access roads, parking areas, landscaping in direct relation to access development, aquatic invasive species prevention, transient tie-up floats and signs. 
Grant funds are to be used only for major site improvements and not for any routine maintenance or operation activities. 
Successful applicants must agree to provide a 50 percent grant match and be willing to enter into a long-term agreement to keep the facility open to free public use for its useful life. 
The PFBC will give priority funding consideration to applicants that provide more than the required 50 percent match, thereby reducing the total amount of grant funds required to complete the project. 
The Boating Facility Grant Program is a reimbursable grant program. Grant funds will be disbursed to the applicant/recipient only after completion of the project occurs and agency staff has verified that the work has been completed. 
All work funded for this round of grants should be completed by December 31, 2022. 
The Commission may adjust the amount of funds available, application, and consideration dates to meet existing needs or opportunities that may occur. Large projects may be phased in over several fiscal years to maximize leverage, distribution and availability of funds.
The PFBC gives highest priority to the rehabilitation of existing facilities, followed by expansion of existing facilities, and then acquisition and development of new boating facilities.  
The Commission will rank projects based on local, regional and statewide needs such as boat use and number of boaters served, relationship to adjacent or nearby public and private boating facilities (ramps and/or marinas) and needs based on strategic statewide, regional or local plans. 
Boating Facility Grant Program funds are derived from boat registration fees, Use (Launch) Permits for unpowered boats, state fuel taxes collected on fuel used in motorboats, and taxes on fishing equipment and motorboat fuel from the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Program. 
For more information, visit the Fish & Boat Commission’s Boating Facility Program Grants webpage.  Questions should be directed to 717-346-8196 or send email to: scbollinge@pa.gov 
(Photo: Frankford boat launching area in Philadelphia.)
[Posted: November 5, 2019]  www.PaEnvironmentDigest.com

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