The city of New Iberia's Civic Center Marina will receive more than $200,000 in federal funds as part of a U.S. Department of the Interior U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service program.
The Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) program has awarded this grant to assist the marina with making improvements that will benefit recreational boaters and the local economy, according to a prepared statement from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
LDWF, in partnership with the City of New Iberia, will use the grant to help fund the second phase of a three-phase project that will construct 512 feet of mooring docks to be used by transient boaters.
Phase II consists of 225 feet of mooring dock that includes four boat slips. Once all three phases are complete, transient boaters will have access to a safe docking facility and services such as shore power, Wi-Fi and potable water.
“We look forward to working with the City of New Iberia to provide safe and convenient accommodations to transient boaters in Louisiana,” LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet said in the statement. “These additions and improvements attract boaters and provide access to local businesses and attractions, boosting local economies as well.
“And, it is very important that these projects are in compliance with ADA requirements that will help our physically challenged citizens fully participate in boating activities at these locations,” he added.
The City of New Iberia will provide $67,667 in matching funds.
“We are excited about the possibilities this project brings to our community,” New Iberia Mayor Freddie DeCourt said. “By promoting tourism and increased boating access, we improve the quality of life in New Iberia. By raising new awareness to our historic waterway Bayou Teche, we encourage boating focused events and festivals.”
Marina Del Ray in Madisonville was also awarded funds under the BIG grant program. Up to $1,407,846 will be provided to make improvements to the marina. Marina Del Ray will provide $500,000 in matching funds.
Past examples of BIG-funded projects in Louisiana include the Slidell Municipal Marina at Heritage Park in Slidell.
LDWF partnered with the City of Slidell and used these funds to renovate existing bulkheads, construct 42 additional floating docking spaces and to install safe walkways for boaters to access the park and downtown area at its current Heritage Park location.
Federal funds received were $1,500,000 with $1,000,100 in a non-federal match.
Funding for the BIG program comes from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund. Boaters and manufacturers contribute to the trust fund through excise taxes and duties on certain fishing and boating equipment and boating fuels.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. LDWF receives no state general funding and depends on license sales as a major funding source.