Waterways Grant Program Changes

Rec plans now need to be included as part of the submission package!

The Department of Natural Resources’ Parks and Recreation Division recently announced a schedule of workshops to discuss the inclusion of a five-year plan as part of the DNR’s Waterways Program Grant application process.

This change will allow communities to incorporate local harbors into their budget process just like any other community asset., encouraging a more holistic approach to long-term community goals and recreational benefits to their communities. The Michigan State Waterways Commission, an advisory group to the DNR, has reviewed the proposal to add the plans in the application process and is in support of the DNR’s decision to adopt the requirement.

Each community that has received a Waterways Fund grant in the past will be notified through e-mail and postal mail. In addition, waterways staff will hold workshops regionally around the state. There is no cost for the workshops, which are scheduled for the following dates:

  • Wednesday, June 11, 9 a.m.-noon
    Holiday Inn Express, 1201 W. Main St., Gaylord.
  • Wednesday, June 18, 9 a.m.-noon
    Franklin Inn, 1070 E. Huron Ave., Bad Axe.
  • Tuesday, June 24, 9 a.m.-noon
    Days Inn, 2403 U.S. Highway 41 W., Marquette.
  • Wednesday, July 9, 9 a.m.-noon
    Holiday Inn-Muskegon Harbor, 939 Third St., Muskegon.

These sessions are open to all interested parties. An RSVP is recommended to reserve a seat; please RSVP to Darlene Moore at 517-284-6138 or moored4@michigan.gov at least five days before each workshop.

The tentative agenda is outlined below:

  • 9-10:30 a.m.: Discuss new requirements for Waterways Program Grants
  • 10:30 a.m.-noon: Review the process from grant application through project completion and learn how to streamline that process
Waterways Grant Program Changes

Clean Vessel Pumpout Grants, Deadline Sept. 15


This MDNR program provides funding for new or upgraded marine sewage disposal facilities, pumpouts and dump stations. Approval is based on the type of marine sewage disposal facility proposed, geographic location, number of boats served and cost of the facility.  Greater priority will be given to projects which provide increased access to pumpouts and dump stations, taking into account cost considerations to provide the highest benefit for the monies spent.

Grants are provided to both private and public boating facilities as long as they are open to the public.  Eligible projects primarily include dump stations, additional pumpouts at large boating facilities or those covered by a pumpout agreement, pumpouts for mooring facilities with a minimum of 15 slips, and upgrading of older pumpout systems.

Local Match: 25%, 75% by Reimbursement

Grants are limited to the cost of a pump out and holding tank hook up.

Source(s) of Funds:
The U.S. Sport Fish Restoration account of the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund, commonly known as the Wallop-Breaux Fund is the source of funding.  The Michigan DNR has a limited amount of federal funds available for this program.  We will continue to accept applications, but the ability to award new grants is dependent upon future federal funds.

Clean Vessel Pumpout Grants, Deadline Sept. 15

Grants to Improve Shore-based Fishing, Deadline August 25

Access to the Great Lakes Fishery


The goal of the GLFT’s Access to the Great Lakes Fishery grant category is to improve or create opportunities for shore-based access to fishing for Great Lakes species for use by tribal and/or recreational users.

How This Goal is Achieved

The GLFT funds projects that create or enhance shore-based access to fishing, which includes construction or improvement of boardwalks and fishing piers with adjacent amenities such as parking and walkways.

Application Information

To submit an application, please download and follow the 2011 Access to the Great Lakes Fishery Application Guidance document, which will provide you with proposal requirements, submission and award dates, and instructions on submitting an application. Please use these instructions to complete the standard and required budget form for your proposal and to review budget definitions for access grants.

Applications are due by August 25, 2011, at 3:00 PM EST. Funding decisions will be made by the GLFT’s Board of Trustees on November 8, 2011. Applicants will be notified of funding decisions by November 23, 2011.

Do not use this application if your project involves the acquisition of property. For more information about land acquisition projects, click here.

Further Information

If you have questions about the project you are proposing, contact Jonathon Beard. If you have technical questions about submitting your application and/or the proposal process, contact Amy Rittenhouse. Both can be reached at (517) 371-7468 or glft@glft.org.

To review previous grants made in this category, please visit the Resource Library.

Grants to Improve Shore-based Fishing, Deadline August 25

Boating Infrastructure Grants, Deadline May 15

Program Objective(s):
To provide construction of recreational boating facilities in the state that meet the following goals:

  • Create dockage for transient recreational boats 26 feet or larger in order to provide access to recreational opportunities and safe harbors;
  • Provide navigational aids for transient boaters using these facilities;
  • Enhance access to recreational, historic, cultural, natural, and scenic resources;
  • Strengthen local ties to the boating community and its economic benefits;
  • Promote public/private partnerships and entrepreneurial opportunities;
  • Provide continuity of public access to the water, and;
  • Promote awareness of transient boating opportunities.

All facilities constructed under this program must be:

  • Designed to accommodate boats 26 feet or greater in length;
  • Used by transient boaters (boaters not at their home port and staying not more than 10 consecutive days);
  • Open to the public;
  • No commercial uses or seasonal slips allowed;
  • Designed and constructed to last at least 20 years;
  • Continue to be used for their original stated grant purpose; and
  • Maintained throughout their useful life.

Activities that are not allowed under the program include:

  • Routine custodial and/or janitorial maintenance activities (those that occur regularly on an annual or more frequent basis);
  • Construction of slips for long-term rental (more than 10 days);
  • Construction or maintenance of facilities designed for trailerable boats;
  • Maintenance or dredging;
  • Dry land storage or haul out facilities;
  • Activities or construction that does not provide public benefit.

On-site investigation by Recreation Division (RD) staff may be required to determine
suitability of proposed work; applicant may be required to document area boating demand.

Additional State Requirements:
• Waterways Grant-in-Aid Program Requirements

Local units of government (city, village, township or county), public universities, and private

Application Process:
1. Submit Boating Infrastructure Grant Program application form to Department of Natural Resources, RD.
2. Submit a Boating Infrastructure Grant Program Proposal.
3. Technical review of applications will be conducted by RD staff. After May 15, grant applications are potentially recommended to proceed with a final version of a proposal
to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Applications must be received by the Department of Natural Resources, RD, in Lansing office
by 5:00 PM, May 15.

The Boating Infrastructure Grant application initial review and funding process for projects is from May 15 until the federal government appropriates funding for projects. If the potential project application is approved to proceed, the applicant will then be asked to develop and complete a proposal with associated federal forms with the goal of submitting to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by approximately September 21, 2011. Exact date to be announced. If the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approves the project proposal, the applicant will then be asked to submit a full package of required documents. An applicant will then be required to sign a third-party agreement with the Department of Natural Resources, PRD before proceeding with final engineering documents and construction.

Contact us for more information!

Boating Infrastructure Grants, Deadline May 15