Fish and Wildlife to award millions to improve California boat access

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife plans to award more than $8 million to organizations across the state to improve recreational boat access for the public.

The CDFW Boating Access Grant Program will reimburse the costs of projects that improve and maintain facilities that give Californians access to recreational boating.

“California’s waterways, from our coastline to majestic lakes and a vast network of rivers, provide unparalleled recreational opportunities for every boater,” said CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham. “Ensuring safe and reliable access for our anglers and every boater statewide remains a high priority.”

In an aerial view, boaters prepare to launch their vessels at Lake Oroville on June 15, 2023 in Oroville, California. (Getty Images)
In an aerial view, boaters prepare to launch their vessels at Lake Oroville on June 15, 2023 in Oroville, California. (Getty Images)

The Department is accepting grant applications through Nov. 3 for the 2023-24 grant program. An online public workshop will also be held on Oct. 4 for anyone interested in learning more.

Funding for the grant program comes from tax revenue on sport fishing equipment, fishing tackle, pleasure boats and the portion of gasoline taxes that come from small engines and motorboats. The program is also supported with some funding by the federal government.

A wide range of facilities and projects are eligible for the grant funding, including:

  • Planning, permitting, design and construction of boating access facilities.

  • Amenities for boaters including compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act at boating access facilities:

    • Launching and landing facilities for paddle craft and non-motorized boats.

    • Outreach to boaters about available boating access and amenities.

    • Aquatic invasive species information and education (inspection but not enforcement).

    • Vegetation management related to boater access.

    • Pump out facilities for vessels with on-board sanitary holding tanks.

    • Fueling docks for boaters.

    • Potable water supplies for boaters.

    • Dinghy docks.

  • Operation and maintenance of boating access facilities.

  • Administration and coordination of boating access programs (including personnel, travel, training and planning)

  • Maintenance and operations projects for boating access sites, facilities and structures.

Additional information about eligibility can be found online on the CDFW website and questions can be submitted via email.

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