Presenter: Tim Hogsett

Commission Agenda Item No. 5
Boat Ramp Grants Funding
January 2004

I. Executive Summary: The Department has recently received three applications for new ramp construction and boating access requesting $1,261,000 in matching fund assistance. Funding approval is recommended.

II. Discussion: Local Boating Access Grants: The State Boat Ramp Program was authorized in 1975 by the Sixty-fourth Legislature. The program provides funds for the purchase, construction and maintenance of boat ramps, access roads and related improvements. Program funds may also be used for capital improvements to existing state boat ramp sites. The program receives funding from two sources: (1) The Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act, also known as the Wallop-Breaux Program, and (2) The State Game, Fish and Water Safety Fund.

Fifteen percent of the State’s annual apportionment from the federal Wallop-Breaux Program must be used to provide public access for motor boating facilities. Construction for new ramps is supported on a 75 percent (state) 25 percent (local) basis.

The Department has recently received three applications, two for new ramp construction and one for dredging a channel for boating access requesting $1,261,000 in matching fund assistance.

The City of Corpus Christi is requesting a 75 percent matching share grant in the amount of $500,000 for the construction of a 3-lane boat ramp to replace an existing boat ramp. The ramp will be located at Cooper’s Alley L-head in Corpus Christi Marina on South Shoreline Boulevard.

Aransas County Navigation District Number 1 is requesting a 75 percent matching share grant in the amount of $500,000 for the construction of a 1-lane boat ramp, breakwater, courtesy dock and bulkhead. The boat ramp will be located in Fulton Beach Park in the City of Fulton on Aransas Bay.

Piper Channel is a 4000 foot-long boat passage located in Nueces County near Port Aransas connecting the Island Moorings subdivision and Island Moorings Marina to the Corpus Christi Ship Channel. Erosion caused by tropical storms and large barge traffic on the ship channel has effectively blocked Piper Channel. At low tide the channel depth can be as little as 18 inches in some spots. Two years ago the marina operator embarked on a quest to find a more long-term solution to the erosion that was constantly filling the channel with sand. Forging a partnership with the City of Port Aransas, the Texas General Land Office and the Army Corps of Engineers, the solution has been formulated. The City of Port Aransas has agreed to build a retaining wall along a critical section of the Ship Channel and the mouth of Piper Channel. The Texas General Land Office has funded a project to place geo-tubes along the sides of Piper Channel. Federal funding assistance through the Boating Access program is requested to fund a portion of the dredging of Piper Channel. The project will be financed by the Island Moorings Marina, which will be responsible for the 25 percent local match. Federal assistance to be requested is $261,000.

III. Recommendation: Staff recommends the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopt the following motion:

“Funding for new construction projects in the amount of $1,261,000 is approved for boat ramps to be constructed in Corpus Christi and Fulton, and for dredging of a boat access channel in Nueces County.”

Attachments – 1
1. Exhibit A – Fiscal Note