July 6, 2020

Maryland: $13.5 Million in Grants Awarded Through the Waterway Improvement Fund

Contact: Brent Miller, Senior Director, Northeastern States and States Program Administrator

On July 2, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced that it would be awarding funds for 43 projects to “enhance and improve public boating access facilities, water safety, and navigation throughout the state.” The grants will be allotted during the State’s 2021 fiscal year by way of the Waterway Improvement Fund (Fund).

Through the Waterway Improvement Fund – a program designated towards the building and maintaining of boating amenities and dredging projects – the DNR will be providing $13.5 million towards plans that include, but are not limited to, making “renovations to public boating access infrastructure such as boat ramps, piers, pilings, bulkheads; dredging of navigable waterways; icebreaking and emergency water rescue vessels and equipment for emergency and first responders.”

The primary source of revenue for the Fund is the “one time 5% excise tax that is paid to the State of Maryland when a boat is purchased and titled in the state.” In this capacity, the Waterway Improvement Fund serves as a valuable supplement to the federal Boating Access Program currently supported through the Dingell-Johnson/Wallop-Breaux Acts that are a key component of the American System of Conservation Funding.

To read the Maryland DNR’s official press release, please click here.

Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?

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