Boating Access
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Boating Access

Jul 13, 2023

CDFW's Boating Access Grant Program provides funding for projects that increase access to recreational boating opportunities across California's waterways. Supported with federal funds through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Sport Fish Restoration Grant Program(opens in new tab), money for the program comes from revenue from taxes on sport fishing equipment, fishing tackle and pleasure boats, and the portion of the gasoline fuel tax attributable to small engines and motorboats.

CDFW coordinates closely with the California Division of Boating and Waterways(opens in new tab) who provides state funding for other boating access projects.

Projects that seek to acquire, develop, renovate, maintain, or improve facilities that create or enhance public access to the waters of the United States or advance 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 planning access to recreational waters for any size or type of recreational boats.

Maintenance and operations projects can be funded for boating access sites, facilities, and structures.

Facilities funded through the program must be accessible to all recreational boaters, thought the state may limit b uses for public safety, property protection, noise abatement, or aquatic resource protection. Examples of restrictions include but not limited to boat motor power, speed limits, no‐wake zones, or hours of use, etc.

Project activities eligible for Boating Access grant funds include:

Grantees may be reimbursed up to 75 percent of project costs through the grant program. At least 25 percent of the project costs must come from a non-Federal source, which can include revenue from license fees.

Projects awarded SFRA funds must comply with all applicable environmental permitting including those mandated under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The grant award may cover permitting and its associated costs.

Applications to CDFW's Boating Access Grant Program are due annually, in the fall (October/November). CDFW submits its grant application, including proposed projects, to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service annually by Winter (January-March) to secure SFRA funding. This aims to have the approved projects start the following July. CDFW SFRA grants have a maximum term of five years and require grantees to submit final invoice by March of the final year.