PHOENIX — The Arizona Game and Fish Department anticipates offering up to $500,000 in federal grant money to enhance and improve public boating facilities at Arizona lakes and waterways over the next two years.

“If you enjoy boating on Arizona waters, this money is specifically for improving that kind of recreation,” said Ron Christofferson, the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s boating facilities program manager. “The department makes grant funds available to applicants who wish to complete boating facility projects that otherwise might not receive funding. This is the opportunity to apply for these grants.”

The funds are anticipated to be available during the next two state fiscal years both through the Clean Vessel Act and the Boating Infrastructure Grant. These federal programs focus on pumpout facilities for onboard restrooms, as well as public boating facilities specifically intended to accommodate watercraft over 26 feet in length. Funding for the grants is provided by federal taxes on the sale of equipment related to fishing and boating, and on motorboat fuel.

Many such projects have been completed in Arizona over the past decade, including new courtesy docks, pumpout stations, pumpout boats and marine fueling stations. Such improvements have previously been funded at Canyon and Bartlett lakes, as well as Lake Pleasant, Lake Havasu and Lake Powell.

“This is an outstanding example of a program where the people who pay fees and taxes directly benefit from the grant funding,” Christofferson said. “In this case, anglers and boaters pay federal taxes on fishing tackle, equipment and motorboat fuel. Then this money is allocated annually back to each state to support projects anglers and boaters can enjoy.”

Agencies, marinas and individuals eligible for the grant money are those with legal ownership or control of public boating facilities on any Arizona public waterway where boats are allowed to operate gas motors without horsepower restrictions.

Grant funds are awarded through a competitive application process, and applications are reviewed and judged on the basis of priorities, project feasibility and overall merit as they relate to the current needs of the boating public. No state funding is currently available through these programs.

Grant applications must be received at the department’s Phoenix headquarters no later than 5:00 p.m. on Monday, July 2, 2018.

For more information on how to apply for the grants, visit the department’s boating facilities webpage at www.azgfd.gov/boatingfacilities.