BRISTOL, RI – Rhode Island is one of 10 states that will share more than $10.4 million in new federal grants for boating infrastructure projects, U.S. Senator Jack Reed announced today.

The state will receive a $113,498 Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) tier one grant and the Town of Bristol is being awarded $623,729 in federal BIG funds to partner with the Rhode Island Division of Marine Fisheries to construct 19 transient slips for visiting boaters and install a fuel dock.

Senator Reed says the combined $737,000 in federal grants will help pay for dock construction, boat tie ups, and related facilities to support recreational boating in the Ocean State.

“This federal funding will help boost the local economy by making Bristol more welcoming to boaters.  I commend Bristol for putting together a successful bid.  These federal dollars will help put people to work making these improvements.  And when the work is completed, it could provide a needed lift to local shops and restaurants by attracting more visitors to Bristol,” said Senator Reed.

The federal BIG grants are administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Grantees use BIG funds to construct, renovate, and maintain marinas and other facilities with features for transient boats (those staying 15 days or less), that are 26 feet or more in length, and are used for recreation.  Grantees may also use funds to produce and distribute information and educational materials about the BIG program and recreational boating.

In 2013, Senator Reed helped secure a $861,000 Boating Infrastructure Grant for Bristol to help turn the downtown Naval Reserve Armory into a municipal maritime center.

Funding for the BIG program comes from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund.  Boaters and manufacturers contribute to the trust fund through excise taxes and duties on certain fishing and boating equipment and boating fuels.  The federal grants require a local match.