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Secretary Zinke announces grants to benefit state boating recreation, tourism

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U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced our state will receive $317,496 in grant funding through the Boating Infrastructure Grant and Clean Vessel Act.

Below is the full press release.

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U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke today announced North Carolina will receive $317,496 in grant funding through the Boating Infrastructure Grant and Clean Vessel Act. The Secretary announced the funds, part of $32 million nationwide, at an event with boating, recreation and tourism leaders in Yorktown, Virginia. The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, Division of Coastal Management plans to use Clean Vessel Act install up to six new pumpout stations over the next three years as well as assist with repair and renovation of existing pumpout stations located within the 20 coastal counties. The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission plans to install 3 pumpout stations as well as fund renovation projects in inland waters. Both agencies plan to continue informational and educational efforts.

State BIG Grant Clean Vessel Act Total North Carolina $149,723 $167,773 $317,496 Zinke made the announcement at the Yorktown Historic Freight Shed Lawn, where he was joined by Virginia Congressman Scott Taylor. Prior to the grant announcement, the Secretary engaged in a roundtable discussion with a variety of boating and fishing stakeholders focusing on the relationship between the Department of the Interior and the boating industry. The funding announced today is through three grant programs: $14.7 million through the Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) program, $15.4 million in funds through the Clean Vessel Act program, and $1.7 million in Maritime Heritage Grants. "These three grant programs provide critical support to local communities, whether through the preservation of American maritime heritage or by ensuring the facilities and waters anglers and boaters depends on are in the best condition," said Zinke. "Although these grants come from different funding sources, none would be possible without great partnerships." Boating Infrastructure Grants The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's "BIG" program provides funding to support dedicated boat tie-up facilities and associated amenities and helps Americans enjoy the nation's waters and our cherished wildlife, natural and cultural resources. Approximately $9.5 million will be awarded competitively to support 10 projects in six states under the BIG, from which states can receive up to $1.5 million in federal funding per project. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will also provide approximately $5.2 million to 29 states, commonwealths and territories under the BIG Tier I subprogram, from which recipients can obtain up to $200,000 in federal funding. States and their partners will provide more than $14.5 million in additional non-federal matching funds toward these projects. Funding for the BIG program comes from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, which boaters and manufacturers fund through excise and other taxes on certain fishing and boating equipment and gasoline. Since its inception in 2000, the BIG program has awarded $180 million to projects for large transient recreational boats, including the construction of more than 5,000 berths for boaters across most states and U.S. territories. For more information about the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program, click here. Clean Vessel Act Grants $15.4 million will go to 20 states through Clean Vessel Act program grants from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Pump-out systems built or purchased with these funds ensure recreational boaters have a safe, convenient and effective method to dispose of on-board sewage. The funds also support associated boater education programs. Boaters and manufacturers contribute to the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund through excise taxes and duties on certain fishing and boating equipment and boating fuels. Since the program's inception in 1993, the Service has allocated more than $234 million from that fund in CVA grants to U.S. states and territories to help keep the nation's waterways clean. The CVA program's support through the user-pay-public-benefit cycle has contributed to the success of the Sport Fish Restoration program. States can apply for CVA funding, and they or their partners provide matching funds to complete projects. Sub-grantees often include local municipalities and private marinas. These partnership efforts are a win-win for clean water and the many families who enjoy recreational boating and the great outdoors. Maritime Heritage Grants The National Park Service is distributing $1,752,073 for 27 maritime heritage grants to applicants in 13 states and the District of Columbia. In partnership with the Maritime Administration (MARAD), the National Park Service awarded grants for projects that teach about and preserve sites and objects related to our nation's maritime history. The National Park Service will administer these projects as direct grants to State Historic Preservation Offices, who will disburse funds to applicants.

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