Millions in Funds Will Go To Waterway Projects Across the State

According to a press release from the office of Maryland Governor Larry Hogan $13.5 million in Waterway Improvement Fund grants for Fiscal Year 2022 to enhance and improve public boating access, facilities, and navigation throughout the state. The announcement—coming during the fourth day of the governor’s tour of the Eastern Shore—was made at the Ocean City Fire Department, which received $50,000 for a fire and rescue vessel engine replacement. 

“Boating is not just an important part of our history and our culture, it is also an important part of Maryland’s economy,” said Governor Hogan. “The announcement of these new grants is yet another shining example that Maryland is open for business, open for summer, and open for boating.” 

The funding will go toward 60 projects in 19 counties, including grants for statewide projects and emergency water rescue needs. Projects include new public boating access, amenities, and facilities; dredging of navigable waterways; emergency vessels and equipment for local first responders; and other important infrastructure and initiatives. 

“We are pleased to demonstrate Maryland’s commitment to keeping our waters safe and accessible through these grant awards,” Maryland Secretary of Natural Resources Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio said. “The Waterway Improvement Fund is an essential program that benefits all waterway users.” 

To streamline the grant application and management process, DNR has created the Grants Gateway to provide a single entry point for grantees and assure access to funding for innovative local projects. The gateway also provides DNR with an integrated grant-management system to monitor sources, manage data, and ensure grants are consistent with the department’s strategic priorities. 

The Waterway Improvement Fund was created in 1966 to support the development, enjoyment, and use of Maryland’s waters for the benefit of the general boating and cruising public. It is primarily derived from a five-percent vessel excise tax on boat purchases and titling. 

Projects to be funded in Fiscal Year 2022: 

Allegany County 

Rocky Gap State Park
Boating Access Improvement and Bulkhead Replacement

Town of Westernport
Boat Launch Improvements

Frederick County 

Cunningham Falls State Park                                     
Boating ADA Improvement

Garrett County 

Deep Creek Lake State Park
Boat Dock Replacement and Boat Area Repairs

Washington County 

Greenbrier State Park
Boat Dock Improvements

Town of Hancock                                                          
Boat Ramp Improvements

Williamsport Volunteer Fire & EMS
New Fire and Rescue Vessel


Emergency dredging and navigation needs
($100,000 General Fund) 

State cost share for Federal Clean Vessel Act funding for the operation/maintenance of marina sewage pumpouts

State cost share for federal Sport Fish Restoration Boating Access (BA) and Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) projects

Federal cost share for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service boating programs
$2.5 million