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Boating and Fishing Access Grants

LDWF administers two grant programs that provide funding for approved applicants to improve boating and fishing access opportunities. The Boating and Fishing Access Program and Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) Program are funded through the federal Sport Fish Restoration Program.

contact
For more information, contact Melissa Longman at mlongman@wlf.la.gov or 225.765.2343.

Boating and Fishing Access Program

LDWF provides funding to local governmental entities (sponsors) for the development and construction, renovation, or improvement of boating and/or fishing access facilities. Eligible projects include:

  • Acquiring new land for facilities
  • Building new facilities
  • Acquiring, renovating, or improving existing facilities. 

Facilities include auxiliary structures necessary to ensure safe use of recreational boating access facilities. A broad range of access facilities and associated amenities can qualify for funding; however, they must provide benefits to recreational boaters and/or anglers and cannot restrict access to the general public. 

Funding is provided as a cost reimbursement. The local sponsor is responsible for covering the cost of the project and requesting reimbursement of up to 75% of the total project cost. A local governmental entity can also sponsor a project developed by the private sector if it provides a public benefit to recreational boaters and/or anglers.

Project Requirements

    • Project planning and construction must follow the Non-State Entity Capital Outlay Administrative Guidelines.
    • Projects will not be considered unless the local sponsor provides evidence of land ownership or a lease agreement for the proposed area.
    • Maintenance and land control of funded projects by the local sponsor will be required for 25 years for freshwater projects and 20 years for saltwater projects.
    • If a project is selected, the local sponsor is responsible for acquiring a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) 404 Permit or clearance and a Louisiana Coastal Use Permit, if applicable.
    • Facilities must comply with Barrier-Free Design Regulations as set forth in the Rehabilitation Act as amended in the Americans with Disabilities Act. Design suggestions are provided in the Design Handbook for Recreational Boating and Fishing Facilities published by the States Organization for Boating Access.
    • Income generated from the project can only be used for maintenance and operation of the project. The application must address the potential for income generation.
    • If land value is used as match or if federal funding will be used to purchase property, an appraisal and review appraisal will be required. The appraisal must meet Yellow Book Standards and must be conducted no more than six months prior to the grant application.

Apply for Funding

Local sponsors can submit applications for funding to LDWF from June 1 to January 31. Applications must be completed and submitted online. Required supporting documentation includes:

  1. Project location maps and drawings: Maps should clearly show where the proposed project is located. It is recommended to include a broad-scale map and a finer scale map to indicate both general vicinity and exact location. Examples are included in the online application. Preliminary drawings should clearly depict all project elements and locations in relation to the site.
  2. Proof of ownership: The local sponsor must provide evidence of land ownership or a lease agreement for the proposed project site. If the property is leased, the lease must extend through the useful life of the project.
  3. Project statement that provides a clear understanding of the overall project. It should include, but not be limited to the following:
    1. Need: Explain why the project is necessary and how it fulfills the purpose of the Boating and Fishing Access Program. Also, include information regarding the fishing and boating pressure relative to the site or area.
    2. Purpose: State the ultimate purpose for the proposed project and link the purpose to the demonstrated need.
    3. Objectives: Identify specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) objectives to be accomplished during the project period.
    4. Expected results and benefits: Describe the expected results and benefits from accomplishing the objectives.
    5. Approach: Describe the approach to be used in meeting the objectives including a timeline of significant milestones.
  4. Budget narrative: Explain and justify all requested budget items/costs. Demonstrate a clear connection between costs and the proposed project activities. Describe the resources you used to develop cost estimates for the project.  Include the source(s) of matching funds and other partner contributions. If the project will generate income, the methodology should be included. Also, include the useful life of the project. An example budget narrative is included within the online application.
  5. Assurance forms: These documents include general regulations associated with federal funding and construction-specific regulations related to federal funding.  These forms are provided within the online application.
  6. Resolution: An adopted resolution by the local governmental entity authorizing that a designated representative has the authority to apply and administer the Sport Fish Restoration federal grant on behalf of the applicant, indicating the amount of match that will be provided and stating that the local governmental entity is willing to enter into a 20-year (for saltwater areas) or 25-year (for freshwater areas) agreement for the maintenance and operation of the project. An example resolution is included within the online application.
  7. Permits: Note that permits are not required until LDWF selects the project for funding.
    1. A USACE 404 Permit is required for the disposal of dredge or fill material in the waters of the United States. This is a broad term that applies to most of the nation’s lakes, rivers, streams, wetlands, and coastal waters. Certain activities are exempt and do not need a permit, while other activities may proceed without an individual permit if they are covered by a regional or nationwide permit. Contact the regulatory branch of the USACE District Office in your area for specific information about location exemptions and regional/nationwide permits.
    2. The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) requires a Letter of Concurrence (Section 6), taking into account the effects on historic structural and archaeological properties.
    3. A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Section 7 Biological Evaluation. Under the Endangered Species Act, actions funded under federal aid programs must not jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered or threatened species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of the habitat of the species.
    4. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires that every proposed federal action be examined to determine the effects it will have on the human environment and that the findings be considered in decisions regarding its implementation.

LDWF will assist with acquiring the SHPO, Section 7, and NEPA permits. The local sponsor is responsible for obtaining the 404 Permit.

Project Evaluation and Approval

LDWF evaluates freshwater and saltwater projects separately based on a set of criteria and, if funding is available, will choose a project. If a project is chosen, LDWF will apply for a federal grant on behalf of the local sponsor, and a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement (CEA) will be executed between LDWF, Office of Facility Planning and Control (FP&C), and the local sponsor. Financial assistance cannot be provided for any work performed prior to grant approval by the USFWS and execution of the CEA.

The local sponsor will be required to identify the project as having been funded by the federal government as a Sport Fish Restoration Project in conjunction with LDWF via permanent signage no less than 3 feet by 4 feet. The sign must include the Sport Fish Restoration logo and LDWF logo (or some other manner of acknowledgement approved by LDWF). The sign must be maintained throughout the useful life of the project.

Boating Infrastructure example sign

Project Partner Roles and Responsibilities

  • LDWF:
    • Ensures the project is substantial in character and design
    • Submits Section 7, NEPA, and SHPO documentation
    • Applies for federal grant on behalf of local sponsor
    • Manages and monitors the contract with the local sponsor and ensures the project is meeting requirements
    • Reviews payment requests from sponsor and makes recommendations to FP&C
    • Submits required performance reports to USFWS.
  • FP&C:
    • Reviews project design documents
    • Reviews construction contract bid documents
    • Ensures all projects are implemented according to state laws
    • Administers funding from USFWS to the local sponsor.
  • Local sponsor:
    • Submits funding application to LDWF
    • Directly administers the project
    • Covers all costs and is eligible for up to 75% reimbursement
    • Responsible for at least 25% of the total project cost in the form of cash, land value, or in-kind services
    • Must enter into a CEA with LDWF and FP&C
    • Submits payment requests and performance reports to LDWF
    • Maintains project throughout its useful life.
  • USFWS:
    • Reviews and approves or denies grant application
    • Ensures project is eligible for Sport Fish Restoration funding
    • Reviews performance reports
    • Provides reimbursement for completed work.

 

Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) Program

LDWF provides funding to local governmental entities or private facilities (local sponsors) to construct, renovate, or maintain tie-up facilities for transient recreational vessels 26 feet or longer. This program is divided into two tiers:

  • Tier I – State: Up to $200,000 per year to each state for eligible projects.
  • Tier II – National: Nationwide funding based on set ranking criteria. The maximum amount of federal funding per project is $1,500,000. Each state can submit multiple projects for national ranking.

The following projects are eligible for BIG funding if they provide direct benefit to transient recreational boaters and do not restrict access to the general public. (Transient boats are 26 feet or longer and do not spend more than 15 days at a single facility.) Any project elements that benefit users other than transient boaters must be prorated. 

  • Constructing, renovating, or maintaining publicly or privately owned boating infrastructure
  • Conducting actions necessary to construct boating infrastructure such as:
    • Engineering, economic, environmental, historic, cultural, or feasibility studies or assessments
    • Planning, permitting, and contracting
  • Dredging a channel, boat basin, or other boat passage (limited to $200,000 and must be directly related to transient boats)
  • Installing navigational aids to give transient vessels safe passage between facility and navigable channels or open water
  • Producing information and education materials specific to BIG or BIG-funded projects.

Boating infrastructure may include:

  • Boat slips, piers, mooring buoys, floating docks, dinghy docks, day docks, and other structures for boats to tie-up and gain access to the shore or services
  • Fuel stations, restrooms, showers, utilities, and other amenities for transient boater convenience
  • Lighting, communications, buoys, beacons, signals, markers, signs, and other means to support safe boating and give information to aid boaters
  • Breakwaters, sea walls, and other physical improvements to allow an area to offer a harbor of safe refuge. 

Funding is provided as a cost reimbursement. The local sponsor is responsible for covering the cost of the project and requesting reimbursement of up to 75% of the total project cost.

Project Requirements

    • Project planning and construction must follow the Non-State Entity Capital Outlay Administrative Guidelines.
    • Projects will not be considered unless the local sponsor provides evidence of land ownership or a lease agreement for the proposed area.
    • Maintenance and land control of funded projects by the local sponsor will be required for 25 years for freshwater projects and 20 years for saltwater projects.
    • If a project is selected, the local sponsor is responsible for acquiring a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) 404 Permit or clearance and a Louisiana Coastal Use Permit, if applicable.
    • Facilities must comply with Barrier-Free Design Regulations as set forth in the Rehabilitation Act as amended in the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Design suggestions are provided in the Design Handbook for Recreational Boating and Fishing Facilities published by the States Organization for Boating Access.
    • Income generated from the project can only be used for maintenance and operation of the project. The application must address the potential for income generation.
    • If land value is used as match or if federal funding will be used to purchase property, an appraisal and review appraisal will be required. The appraisal must meet Yellow Book Standards and must be conducted no more than six months prior to the grant application.

Apply for Funding

Local sponsors can submit applications for funding to LDWF as announced annually. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) typically releases the Notice of Funding Opportunity in June; applications are due to the USFWS in early September. However, sponsors must submit applications to LDWF for review and evaluation at least a month prior to the USFWS application deadline.

Applications must be completed and submitted online . SOBA has developed An Applicant’s Guide to the Boating Infrasructure Grant Program for reference when developing applications. Required supporting documentation includes:

  1. Project location maps and drawings: Maps should clearly show where the proposed project is located. It is recommended to include a broad scale map and a finer scale map to indicate both general vicinity and exact location.  Examples are included within the online application. Preliminary drawings should clearly depict all project elements and locations in relation to the site.
  2. Proof of ownership: The local sponsor must provide evidence of landownership or a lease agreement for the proposed project site. If the property is leased, the lease must extend through the useful life of the project.
  3. Project statement that provides a clear understanding of the overall project. It should include, but not be limited to the following:
    1. Need: Explain why the project is necessary and how it fulfills the purpose of the Boating and Fishing Access Program. Also include information regarding the fishing and boating pressure relative to the site or area.
    2. Purpose: State the ultimate purpose for the proposed project and link the purpose to the demonstrated need.
    3. Objectives: Identify specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) objectives to be accomplished during the project period.
    4. Expected results and benefits: Describe the expected results and benefits from accomplishing the objectives.
    5. Approach: Describe the approach to be used in meeting the objectives including a timeline of significant milestones.
  4. Budget narrative: Explain and justify all requested budget items/costs. Demonstrate a clear connection between costs and the proposed project activities. Describe resources you used to develop cost estimates for the project. Include the source(s) of matching funds and other partner contributions. If the project will generate income, the methodology should be included. Also include the useful life of the project. An example budget narrative is included within the online application.
  5. Assurance forms: These documents include general regulations associated with federal funding and construction specific regulations related to federal funding. These forms are provided within the online application.
  6. Resolution or authorization letter: An adopted resolution by the local governmental entity or letter by the board of a private entity authorizing that a designated representative has the authority to apply and administer the Sport Fish Restoration federal grant on behalf of the applicant, indicating the amount of match that will be provided and stating that the local governmental entity is willing to enter into a 20-year (for saltwater areas) or 25-year (for freshwater areas) agreement for the maintenance and operation of the project. An example resolution is included within the online application.
  7. Permits: Note that permits are not required until the project LDWF selects the project for funding.
    1. A USACE 404 Permit is required for the disposal of dredge or fill material in the waters of the United States. This is a broad term which applies to most of the nation’s lakes, rivers, streams, wetlands, and coastal waters. Certain activities are exempt and do not need a permit, while other activities may proceed without an individual permit, if they are covered by a regional or nationwide permit. Contact the regulatory branch of the USACE District Office in your area for specific information about location exemptions and regional/nationwide permits.
    2. The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) requires a Letter of Concurrence (Section 6), taking into account the effects on historic structural and archaeological properties.
    3. A USFWS Section 7 Biological Evaluation. Under the Endangered Species Act, actions funded under the federal aid programs must not jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered or threatened species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of the habitat of the species.
    4. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires that every proposed federal action be examined to determine the effects it will have on the human environment and that the findings be considered in decisions regarding its implementation.

LDWF will assist with acquiring the SHPO, Section 7, and NEPA permits. The local sponsor is responsible for obtaining the USACE 404 Permit.

Project Evaluation and Approval

LDWF evaluates Tier I project proposals and submits selected projects to the USFWS. LDWF evaluates Tier II projects for eligibility and submits them to the USFWS for national evaluation/ranking. If the USFWS approves the projects, LDWF will apply for a federal grant on behalf of the local sponsor, and a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement (CEA) will be executed between LDWF, Office of Facility Planning and Control (FP&C), and the local sponsor. Financial assistance cannot be provided for any work performed prior to grant approval by the USFWS and execution of the CEA.

The local sponsor will be required to identify the project as having been funded by the federal government as a Sport Fish Restoration Project in conjunction with LDWF via permanent signage no less than 3 feet by 4 feet. The sign must include the Sport Fish Restoration Logo and LDWF logo (or some other manner of acknowledgment approved by LDWF). The sign must be maintained throughout the useful life of the project.

Boating Infrastructure example sign

Project Partner Roles and Responsibilities

  • LDWF:
    • Ensures the project is eligible for BIG funding and is substantial in character and design
    • Submits Section 7, NEPA, and SHPO documentation
    • Applies for federal grant on behalf of local sponsor
    • Manages and monitors the contract with the local sponsor and ensures the project is meeting requirements
    • Reviews payment requests from sponsor and makes recommendations to FP&C
    • Submits required performance reports to USFWS.
  • FP&C:
    • Reviews project design documents
    • Reviews construction contract bid documents
    • Ensures all projects are implemented according to state laws
    • Administers funding from USFWS to the local sponsor.
  • Local sponsor:
    • Submits funding application to LDWF
    • Directly administers the project
    • Covers all costs and is eligible for up to 75% reimbursement
    • Responsible for at least 25% of the total project cost in the form of cash, land value, or in-kind services
    • Required to enter into a CEA with LDWF and FP&C
    • Submits payment requests and performance reports to LDWF
    • Maintains project throughout its useful life.
  • USFWS:
    • Reviews and approves or denies grant application
    • Ensures project is eligible for BIG funding
    • Reviews performance reports
    • Provides reimbursement for completed work.