BIG Boating Infrastructure Grant Program


$2.2 million


Grant Limit

$1.4 million


Match Requirement

25 percent


This federal grant program provides funding to develop and renovate boating facilities targeting guest recreational boats twenty-six feet and larger. Grants also may be used for boater education.

Grant Application Schedule

Item Date

Applications Open, Application Webinar

Watch Application Webinar

February 14, 2024 

Preliminary Application Due

June 3, 2024 

Application Due

July 1, 2024 Estimate

Technical Review

July 1, 2024 - July 12, 2024 Estimate

Technical Completion Deadline

July 31, 2024 Estimate

Project Evaluation

August 12, 2024 - August 23, 2024 Estimate

Board Approves Preliminary Ranked Lists

October 29, 2024 - October 30, 2024

Grant Award History

Most recent grants and evaluation results, listed by the application year.

Application Resources

Grant Manual


Changes Due to the Coronavirus

RCO has made the following changes to its BIG grant application process:

  • All project evaluations will be Web-based. There will be no in-person meetings and the evaluation committee will work remotely as well.

National publication BoatUs gives BIG high praise


Typical Projects

  • Renovating guest docks
  • Installing utilities to moorage docks
  • Building moorage docks and floats

Who May Apply?

  • Local agencies
  • Native American tribes
  • Nonprofit organizations active in recreational boating
  • Qualified private marina operators
  • Special purpose districts, such as port, park and recreation, and public utility districts
  • State agencies


Funding generally is awarded every two years. Funding comes through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from federal gas taxes deposited in the federal Aquatic Resources Trust Fund.

  • Tier 1 generally receives $192,086 annually.
  • Tier 2 projects compete nationally for an average of $8 million to $12 million annually. Awards to Washington State projects vary.

Grant Limits

Project CategoryGrant Limit
Tier 1Applicants must ask for $5,000 to $287,907.
Tier 2Applicants must ask for $300,001 to $1,440,645.

Match Details

All applicants must contribute 25 percent in matching resources.

For applicants other than tribes and stage agencies, at least 10 percent of the total project cost must be from a non-state, non-federal source.

Match may include the following:

  • Appropriations or cash
  • Bonds
  • Donations of cash, land, labor, equipment, and materials
  • State, local, and private grants
  • Applicant’s labor, equipment, and materials

Eligible Projects

Development or renovation of the following:

  • Boarding floats, guest moorage floats, fixed docks, piers, buoys
  • Breakwaters
  • Dinghy docks
  • Navigational aids
  • Upland support facilities such as restrooms, showers, utilities

Education and information publications such as charts, guides, and brochures

Ineligible Projects

  • Construction or renovation of boating infrastructure for the following:
    • Tie-up slips for stays of more than fifteen consecutive days by a single party
    • Dryland storage
    • Haul-out features
    • Features for trailerable or car-top boats (those less than twenty-six feet long), such as launch ramps and carry-down walkways
  • Dredging costs exceeding $200,000
  • Land acquisition
  • Maintenance
  • Planning

Long-term Commitment

Property developed or renovated with these grants must be kept for the useful life of the facility.