Boating Facilities Program
The Boating Facilities Program and the Recreation and Conservation Funding Board, were created in 1964 when the state's citizens voted for Initiative 215, agreeing to tax themselves to provide money to improve the state’s boating facilities.
The program pays for projects that acquire, develop, and renovate facilities for motorized boats and other watercraft, including launching ramps, guest moorage, and support facilities.
- Renovating boat launches
- Adding guest moorage facilities
- Building parking, restrooms, and other boating amenities
Funding SourceFunding comes from a portion of the gasoline tax paid by boaters.
Who can apply?
- Local agencies
- Park and recreation districts
- Public utility districts
- Port districts
- Native American Tribes
- State agencies
The above entities must be authorized legally to develop, operate, and maintain recreational facilities.
Match requirementsLocal agencies and special purpose districts must provide 25 percent match for each project, and at least 10 percent of the total project cost must be from a non-state, non-federal contribution. State applicants do not need to provide match. Tribes need to provide 25 percent match. Match may include, but is not limited to:
- Appropriations or cash
- Donations of cash, land, labor, equipment, and materials
- Federal, state, local, and private grants
- Applicant’s labor, equipment, and materials
Planning RequirementComprehensive planning documents required. See Manual 2, Planning Policies for details.
- Development projects: $1 million
- Acquisition projects: $1 million
- Combination projects (acquisition with either development or planning): $1 million
- Planning projects (architecture, engineering, environmental review, permitting): The lesser of $200,000 or 20 percent of the estimated construction cost for a development or combined acquisition/development project.
Funding Anticipated (Average)$8 million biennially, with $4 million each for state and local agencies every other year, and $2 million for local agencies every year.
- Planning (architecture, engineering, environmental review, permitting)
- Moorage floats, fixed docks, and buoys for guest boaters
- Parking and staging areas
- Permits (procurement) when required
- Ramps and fixed hoists for launching, loading floats
- Sewage pump-out stations and "porta-potty" dump stations
- Support facilities (upland), such as restrooms, showers, and picnic facilities used exclusively or primarily by transient recreational boaters
- Dredging, including both capital construction and periodic activities to remove materials deposited due to unforeseen events; dredging must extend facility usefulness for at least five years. (Revised Code of Washington 79A.25.080)
- Any facility for leased, exclusive use, or long-term moorage
- Any facility primarily for commercial use or commercial vessels
- Maintenance dredging
- Concession buildings or space
- Fuel sales equipment including piping, fuel pumps, and storage tanks
- Mobile vessel transporters
- Those on waters prohibiting gasoline powered motors
- Those primarily for non-gasoline powered watercraft such as canoes, kayaks, or diesel powered craft
- Master plans or feasibility studies
Grant Application ScheduleGenerally grant applications are accepted in even years. See this year’s schedule.
Grant Evaluation Process (7 months)
- Applicants submit an online application and make an in-person presentation.
- Applications and presentations are reviewed and scored by staff and a panel of experts in recreational boating.
- The ranked list is presented to the Recreation and Conservation Funding Board for consideration.
- The board approves a ranked list of projects and sends a budget request to the Governor’s Office for including in the capital budget request to the state Legislature. While the budget requires Legislative approval, the list does not.
- The legislature approves a budget.
- The Recreation and Conservation Funding Board makes final funding decisions.
Long-term Commitments for Funded ProjectsProperty acquired, developed, or renovated with Boating Facilities Program grants must be kept for public outdoor recreation use forever.
Other commitments include ensuring proper maintenance, facilitating audits, providing for nondiscrimination, etc. Further information can be found in Manual 7: Funded Projects: Policies & The Project Agreement.