Division of Boating and Waterways Offers $4.25 Million in Grants to Enhance Public Safety and Protect California’s Waterways

Sacramento, CA… The Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) is now accepting grant applications to help local public entities enhance safety on California’s waterways, and protect them from abandoned and unwanted vessels. The application period for the competitive grant programs, Boating Safety and Enforcement Equipment (BSEE) and Surrendered and Abandoned Vessel Exchange (SAVE), is open from March 15 through April 16, 2021. Interested applicants are encouraged to review the grant guidelines and participate in an applicant workshop.

“With more than four million motorized and non-motorized recreational boaters on California’s waterways, it is important to support local public entities in enhancing public safety and protecting the environment,” said Ramona Fernandez, DBW’s Acting Deputy Director. “Together we can provide more positive experiences to the recreational boating community especially during these challenging times of the pandemic.”

In 2020, DBW awarded 30 BSEE grants totaling $1.59 million and 23 SAVE grants totaling $2.75 million. This year, a total of $4.25 million in grant funding is available to eligible applicants.

Below are descriptions of the grant programs and available funding:

BSEE Grant Program

Up to $1.5 million is available to local government agencies that can demonstrate a need for patrol boats, engines, personal watercraft, search and rescue equipment, and patrol and diving equipment. These competitive grants are to augment existing local resources and not to fully fund boating safety and enforcement patrol units. The U.S. Coast Guard Recreational Boating Safety Program provides BSEE grant funding.
SAVE Grant Program

Up to $2.75 million is available to local public agencies statewide to receive surrendered vessels and to remove and dispose of derelict vessels on coastal and inland waterways. Grant funding comes from the Abandoned Watercraft Abatement Fund. DBW awards grants on a competitive basis to eligible public agencies based on demonstrated need.

Applications for both grant programs must be submitted to DBW through its Online Grant Application System (OLGA). Prior to applying, the division encourages new applicants to view a 45-minute webinar that provides detailed instructions on creating an account in OLGA as well as navigating the application system. Additionally, DBW is hosting a 90-minute virtual workshop for each grant program to help applicants write competitive applications.

Below is detailed information on the workshops:

BSEE Workshop

Date:              Thursday, March 25, 2021
Time:             10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Location:       Virtual Webinar
RSVP:            Deborah Holmes via email or (916) 327-1822

SAVE Workshop

Date:              Thursday, March 25, 2021
Time:              1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Location:       Virtual Webinar
RSVP:             Ron Kent via email or (916) 327-1825

The workshops will be recorded for those unable to participate in the live presentations. Please see contacts above for any questions.

Once grant applications have been reviewed and scored, DBW will send out notice of award letters via OLGA. DBW anticipates that awards will be announced by August 2021.

Detailed information, including previous grantee recipients, is available on DBW’s website.

State Parks reminds the public that California is dealing with a pandemic. Please be sure to boat responsibly, plan ahead, stay local, wear life jacket and actively supervise children. For more safety tips and visitor guidelines, please visit www.parks.ca.gov/SafetyTips and www.parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve.

Abandoned vessel and Sheriff Patrol boat.

SAVE grants assist local public agencies statewide to receive surrendered vessels and to remove and dispose of derelict vessels on coastal and inland waterways. BSEE grants augment local agency resources for patrol boats, engines and personal watercraft, search and rescue, patrol and diving equipment. Photos from Division of Boating and Waterways.


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California State Parks and the recreational programs supported by its divisions of Boating and Waterways, Historic Preservation and Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation provide the opportunity for families, friends, and communities to connect. Off-highway motor vehicle recreation, boating activities, horseback riding, cycling, hiking, camping, rock climbing, tours, hikes, school group enrichment, and special events are just some of the activities enjoyed in 280 park units organized into 21 field districts throughout the state. Learn more at www.parks.ca.gov.