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

Boating Infrastructure Grants, Deadline Oct. 25


The Sportfishing and Boating Safety Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-178) established the Boating Infrastructure Grants Program (BIG) (16 U.S.C. 777g-1) to provide funding to the 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealths of Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands, and the territories of Guam, American Samoa, and the U.S. Virgin Islands (States) for the development and maintenance of boating infrastructure facilities for transient, nontrailerable recreational vessels. Nontrailerable recreational vessels are defined as recreational vessels at least 26 feet long operated primarily for pleasure, or leased, rented, or chartered to another for the recreational user’s pleasure. Transient means passing through or by a place, staying up to ten days. The Act amended the Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Act (16 U.S.C. 777). Subsequent reauthorizations of the Act allow expenditures from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund and the continuation of BIG.

Some examples of potentially eligible activities include:

(a) Mooring buoys (permanently anchored floats designed to tie up eligible recreational vessels);

(b) Day-docks (tie-up facilities that do not allow overnight use);

(c) Navigational aids (e.g., channel markers, buoys, and directional information);

(d) Transient slips (slips that boaters with eligible recreational vessels occupy for no more than 10 consecutive days);

(e) Safe harbors (facilities protected from waves, wind, tides, ice, currents, etc., that provide a temporary safe anchorage point or harbor of refuge during storms);

(f) Floating docks and fixed piers;

(g) Floating and fixed breakwaters;

(h) Dinghy docks (floating or fixed platforms that boaters with nontrailerable recreational vessels use for a temporary tie-up of their small boats to reach the shore);

(i) Restrooms and showers;

(j) Retaining walls;

(k) Bulkheads;

(l) Dockside utilities;

(m) Pumpout stations;

(n) Recycling and trash receptacles;

(o) Dockside electric service;

(p) Dockside water supplies;

(q) Dockside pay telephones;

(r) Debris deflection booms;

(s) Marine fueling stations; and

(t) One-time dredging, not to exceed 10% of total BIG project costs, including match

Program match amount is 25%. Up to $5.6M is available for Tier 1 projects, $8M for Tier 2 projects.

Grants will be announced in March, 2014.

Contact us for more information!

Boating Infrastructure Grants, Deadline Oct. 25