2012-08-02 / News

Federal grants available for towns, marinas

The state Department of Environmental Management recently announced that proposals are being accepted all month for boating infrastructure grants for facilities and associated infrastructure that provide stop-over and tie-up opportunities for transient recreational boats.

The federal grants, which provide a 75 percent reimbursable match up to $1.5 million, are for the development or renovation of such facilities as mooring buoys, day docks, navigational aids, transient slips, safe harbors, floating docks, fixed piers, dinghy docks, restrooms, showers, retaining walls, bulkheads, and floating and fixed breakwaters.

They can also be used for dockside utilities, pump-out stations, recycling bins, trash cans, electric service, dockside water supplies, dockside pay telephones, debris deflection booms, marine fueling stations, and one-time dredging not to exceed 10 percent of the total project costs.

“This is a great opportunity for coastal Rhode Island communities and marinas to improve the facilities that are used by transient recreational boaters visiting our state,” said Gov. Lincoln Chafee. “The federal matching grants will fund a substantial portion of the project costs and will benefit our cities and towns along the shore.”

Cities, towns and marinas that provide transient tie-up opportunities for non-trailerable recreational boats over 26 feet, or wish to do so, are eligible to apply to DEM, which is administering the program on behalf of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. DEM will review proposals and work with applicants to develop formal applications, which must be submitted to the wildlife service by Sept. 19, 2012. The federal service will review and rate the applications on a national competitive level. About $11 million is expected to be available nationwide for 2013.

“Boating in Rhode Island provides a world-class recreational opportunity to thousands who flock here each year to enjoy our natural resources and tourist attractions,” said DEM Director Janet Coit. “The improvements funded by these grants will expand opportunities for boaters to experience beautiful Rhode Island, encourage extended and repeat visits to the Ocean State, and support an important sector of our economy.”

Recently funded projects include the Newport Maritime Center, a transient boating facility located in the basement of the armory building on Thames Street, and at the public Ann Street pier. This facility has amenities for transient boaters including bathrooms, showers, laundry and Wi- Fi. The city of Newport received a $713,000 boating-infrastructure grant for construction of the project, which was completed this year.

In 2011, the town of Bristol completed Rockwell Dock, a transient boating dock located at the end of Church Street with a $63,900 grant from this federal program. Also in 2011, the city of Newport completed the Long Wharf transient boating dock with $300,000 in boating infrastructure grant funds.

Initial proposals – due to DEM by Aug. 31 – should provide as much information as possible regarding the project proposal. Final applications – due to the wildlife service by Sept. 19 – must consist of a transmittal letter describing the organization and the facility for which funding is being requested, a concise narrative that addresses the rating criteria, a detailed budget, site maps and photos.

Final applications must be submitted through DEM’s Division of Fish & Wildlife. Any municipality or marina interested in submitting an application should contact Veronica Masson, federal aid coordinator for the Division of Fish & Wildlife, at 789-0281. Proposals must be submitted to veronica. masson@dem.ri.gov.

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