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TPW Commission Approves Almost $2 Million in Boat Ramp Grants
AUSTIN — The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission today approved $1.81 million in federal matching funds for boat ramp projects at two state parks and in seven communities. It also okayed $894,700 in boat ramp funding for Luling and Gonzales conditioned on future receipt of additional federal freshwater boating access funds.
TPWD received a total of 11 requests for $2.7 million in federal matching funds for public boating access construction and renovation projects. Construction for approved projects is supported on a 75 percent federal and 25 percent local basis.
The boat ramp grant program, authorized by the Texas Legislature in 1975, is funded under the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act, also known as the Wallop-Breaux program. The dollars come from a federal gasoline tax on fuel purchased for recreational boating and an excise tax on fishing tackle.
State parks that will receive federal matching funds for boat ramp projects are Goose Island and Lake Somerville.
Goose Island State Park will use $84,000 in matching funds to renovate the park’s boat ramp and courtesy dock on Aransas Bay, which is currently closed due to disrepair.
Lake Somerville State Park will use its $150,000 in federal matching funds for dredging of a silted-in channel and construction of a bulkhead in Nails Creek State Park that will make the boat ramp functional at most water levels.
Two projects in the Rio Grande Valley approved for funding will benefit anglers and boaters in Cameron and Willacy counties.
The City of Rio Hondo will receive $136,110 in matching funds to buy a lot next to an existing boat ramp on the Arroyo Colorado, for parking and security lighting.
The commission awarded $249,480 in matching grant funds for the Willacy County Navigation District for construction of a new, one-lane boat ramp to provide boating access to the Lower Laguna Madre. The funds also will help pay for a parking area, access road, courtesy dock, restroom, bulkhead, lighting, landscaping and signs at the Port Mansfield boat ramp.
Also in South Texas, the Refugio County Water Control Improvement District will receive $500,000 in federal monies to make improvements to the boat ramp that provides the only public access to Mission River, 3.5 miles upstream from Mission Bay. The matching share grant will help fund renovation of the boat ramp, as well as construction of a dock with lighting, a bulkhead and parking lot.
In North Texas, the Brazos River Authority will use $82,500 in federal funds for renovations to a dilapidated Lake Granbury boat ramp, construction of bulkheads and a dock, and installation of lighting and signage.
Near Houston, the City of Kemah won approval for $500,000 in matching funds to renovate the Hurricane Ike-damaged Clear Lake Causeway boat ramp, parking lot and access road. The grant also will help pay for a new bulkhead, docks, boat lift, lighting and signs at the existing boat ramp.
In addition, Brazoria County was awarded $21,924 in federal matching funds to renovate the loading dock at the Swan Lake boat ramp and to resurface the adjacent parking area. The facility provides public boating access to the Intracoastal Waterway and Gulf of Mexico.
Until additional federal boat ramp funding becomes available, the commission-approved grant proposals from the City of Luling, $500,000 for the Zedler Mill Park boat ramp construction project, and City of Gonzales, $394,700 for a new one-lane Guadalupe River boat ramp, will have to wait.
For more information about boat ramp grant awards or to receive application forms, see TPWD’s grants Web page, phone the department’s Recreation Grants Department at (512) 389-8224 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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