The Boating Access sub-program of the Sport Fish Restoration Grant program provides federal funds for facilities that create or add to public access for recreational boating and improvements to waterways that increase access to recreational boating opportunities.

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Grants within the Boating Access program can be used to fund a broad range of access facilities and associated amenities that benefit recreational boaters. The grants fall within the Sport Fish Restoration program as a sub-program with specific requirements related to the amount of apportioned Sport Fish Restoration funds that must be used for boating access projects each year. These grants are available to State Fish and Wildlife Agencies that sometimes partner with local governments, other state agencies, or non-governmental organizations to ensure public access to state waters.

Types of projects that are funded with Boating Access grant funds include:

  • Projects that seek to acquire, develop, renovate, maintain, or improve facilities that create or improve public access to the waters of the United States or improve the suitability of these waters for recreational boating. These facilities may include auxiliary structures to ensure safe use by recreational boaters. Projects may include surveys to determine information needed to plan for providing access to recreational waters for any size or type of recreational boat
  • Maintenance and operations projects can be funded for boating access sites, facilities, and structures, even if the Sport Fish Restoration Program did not fund their acquisition or construction
  • Facilities funded through the subprogram must be available to all recreational boaters, but States may restrict uses for public safety, property protection, noise abatement, or aquatic resource protection. Examples of restrictions include limiting the horsepower or types of boat motors and setting speed limits, no‐wake zones, or hours of use
  • States are responsible for maintenance of all capital improvements they acquire or construct using Sport Fish Restoration Boating Access funds throughout the improvement’s planned useful life.