Boating Access

A body of water with many boats in it and mountains in the background. Or should I be specific and say

Open Solicitation

November 2, 2023 Update - DEADLINE EXTENDED to November 15, 2023, by 4:00 p.m.

CDFW is now accepting proposals for the 2024 Boating Access Proposal Solicitation Notice(opens in new tab). Proposals are due by 4:00 p.m. on November 3, 2023, November 15, 2023, through CDFW WebGrants Portal(opens in new tab). Below are the proposal templates and attachments for 2023-2024 application:

The recording of the October 4, 2023, Boating Access Public Workshop (Video) is now available, along with a copy of the presentation slides (PDF). The workshop provided an overview of the program including eligible activities, program requirements and the grant process. Please contact with any questions.


CDFW's Boating Access Grant Program provides funding for projects that increase access to recreational boating opportunities across California's waterways. Supported with federal funds through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Sport Fish Restoration Grant Program(opens in new tab), money for the program comes from revenue from taxes on sport fishing equipment, fishing tackle and pleasure boats, and the portion of the gasoline fuel tax attributable to small engines and motorboats.

CDFW coordinates closely with the California Division of Boating and Waterways(opens in new tab) who provides state funding for other boating access projects.

Program Requirements

Projects that seek to acquire, develop, renovate, maintain, or improve facilities that create or enhance public access to the waters of the United States or advance the suitability of these waters for recreational boating. These facilities may include auxiliary structures to ensure safe use by recreational boaters. Projects may include surveys planning access to recreational waters for any size or type of recreational boats.

Maintenance and operations projects can be funded for boating access sites, facilities, and structures.

Facilities funded through the program must be accessible to all recreational boaters, thought the state may limit uses for public safety, property protection, noise abatement, or aquatic resource protection. Examples of restrictions include but not limited to boat motor power, speed limits, no‐wake zones, or hours of use, etc.

Project activities eligible for Boating Access grant funds include:

  • Planning, permitting, and design for Boating Access Facilities.
  • Construction of Boating Access Facilities
  • Amenities for Boaters, including compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) at Boating Access Facilities:
    • This may include restrooms, wash-down stations, fish cleaning stations for boaters, ramps, courtesy or loading docks, maneuvering areas, parking areas, walkways, beaching areas for boats, picnic tables, garbage facilities for boaters, shade structures, lighting, signage, etc.
    • 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 – including inspection (not enforcement) AS LONG AS THE PURPOSE IS TO KEEP BOATERS BOATING.
    • Vegetation management – If it’s all about keeping boaters accessing the water.
    • Pump out facilities for vessels that have 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 (personnel, travel, training, planning, etc.)

Cost Sharing or Match

Grantees may be reimbursed up to 75 percent of project costs through the grant program. At least 25 percent of the project costs must come from a non-Federal source, which can include revenue from license fees.

NEPA and Environmental Review

Projects awarded SFRA funds must comply with all applicable environmental permitting including those mandated under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The grant award may cover permitting and its associated costs.


Applications to CDFW's Boating Access Grant Program are due annually, in the fall (October/November). CDFW submits its grant application, including proposed projects, to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service annually by Winter (January-March) to secure SFRA funding. This aims to have the approved projects start the following July. CDFW SFRA grants have a maximum term of five years and require grantees to submit final invoice by March of the final year.


For questions about the program please email,