Marine Board Now Accepting Boating Facility and Waterway Access Grant Applications

Grant applications are being accepted through July 1, 2020, for the 2019-2021 Cycle Two funding from the Marine Board. Grants are available to public bodies such as cities, counties, state and federal agencies, and Tribal governments for recreational boating facility improvements. All of the above parties, in addition to non-profit, non-governmental, and private entities are encouraged to apply for boating safety, education, equipment for underserved communities. 

“This is an exciting opportunity to partner with new parties to address waterway access needs for all recreational boaters,” said Janine Belleque, Boating Facilities Manager for the Marine Board. “It’s also exciting to be able to compliment access improvements with boating safety education grant dollars in underserved communities that enhance water recreation opportunities.”

In 2019, SB 47 was passed by the Oregon Legislature, creating an account for boating facility grants for the development or improvement of non-motorized boating access sites, or for boating safety education programs in underserved communities. Revenue for the grants comes from Waterway Access Permit sales, which are required to be purchased and carried on board non-motorized boats 10’ long and longer (including some sailboats). The Marine Board approved new grant rules during their June 2020, meeting, integrating the Waterway Access grant application and scoring criteria into the now 50-year old boating facility grant program in the agency. This simplifies the process for applicants: one application for five competitive grant funding sources. Roughly $250,000 is available in Waterway Access grants and $500,000 of other Boating Facility grants are available for eligible applicants.   

Boating facility grant applications are awarded three times during a two-year biennium based on available funding. The Cycle Two funding allocates 20% of the available boating facilities resources and focuses on projects that can be completed within 12 months remaining in the biennium.  This includes property acquisition, construction within the in-water windows, and permitting for replacing boat ramps, boarding docks, repaving, or redesigning parking lots or sanitation renovations.  The Marine Board’s Boating Facility staff provide technical assistance to grant applicants through every step of the project concept, design/engineering, permitting, surveying, and inspections of any given project, often saving time and money for the facility provider.

Cycle Three allocates 10% of the available funding to factor in previously awarded grants with unexpected cost increases, or emergency situations. This funding cycle is dependent upon the successful completion of other projects and available revenue.

The Marine Board awards more than $5 million biennially for boating facility improvements.  Since 2001, the agency has awarded $44 million in facility grants throughout Oregon. These grants are funded from motorboat title and registration fees, marine fuel tax revenue, and in 2020, Waterway Access Permit fees.

More information on Waterway Access Permits and examples of facility projects are available at www.boatoregon.com.  

Grant applications, a boating facilities procedures guide, and sample application are also available on the agency’s website.