By D. Scott Croft, BoatUS

ALEXANDRIA, VA, July 28, 2015 – Visiting boaters, whether staying over for just one night or a couple weeks, offers real economic benefits and adds to the vitality of waterfront communities, marinas and boat clubs. But laying out the welcome mat can be challenging. Transient boat docks that are protected and safe for overnight tie-ups, deep-water channels, restrooms, and pumpouts – just some of the infrastructure necessary to draw visiting boaters – can be expensive. However, the Boating Infrastructure Grant(BIG) program from the US Fish and Wildlife Service can help communities, marinas and boat clubs pay up to half of these improvements, but they need to apply by September 18 by going to their state’s BIG administrator, typically a boating, wildlife or natural resources agency.