February 16, 2012– The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has received $1.5 million through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Boating Infrastructure Grant Program (BIG-P), Tier II awards that will provide for the renovation of the Slidell Municipal Marina.
“This project garnered the largest award of all projects funded by BIG Program, Tier II dollars this fiscal year,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham. “The renovated facility will benefit the citizens of Slidell and those who visit the waterways of St. Tammany Parish for many years to come.”
LDWF will partner with the City of Slidell to renovate existing bulkheads, construct 42 additional floating lay-along docking spaces, and install safe walkways for boaters to access the park and downtown area at the marina located within Heritage Park. The $1.5 million in BIG funds will be combined with $1 million in non-federal match funds to cover the $2.5 million total project cost.
The competitive grants from USFWS provide quality opportunities and access to
America’s great outdoors for boaters and anglers. Recreational boaters and anglers contribute to the outdoor recreation economy and play an important role in conservation of the nation’s rivers, watersheds and oceans. It is estimated that outdoor recreation, including boating and fishing, contributes an estimated $730 billion to the U.S. economy annually.
“We are honored to be one of 10 states to receive grant money from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for our exciting Slidell Municipal Marina project at Heritage Park,” said Slidell Mayor Freddy Drennan. “I would like to thank the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries for partnering with us to help complete this project and Councilman Bill Borchert and the Slidell City Council for their help in securing these funds for the City of Slidell. This is part of a long term goal to develop this entire bayou area to its full potential as a tourist destination.”
Boating Infrastructure Grant recipients can use funds to construct, renovate, and maintain facilities with features for transient boats (those staying 10 days or less) that are 26 feet or more in length and used for recreation. Grantees may also use funds to produce and distribute information and educational materials about the program and recreational boating.
Funding for the Boating Infrastructure Grant program comes from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, formerly known as the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund, which boaters and manufacturers support through excise and other taxes on certain fishing and boating equipment and boat fuel.
For more information, contact LDWF Boating Access Coordinator Manuel Ruiz at 225-765-2373 or firstname.lastname@example.org  .
The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov  on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb  or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.