Green Belt

Funding Allocation Overview

Governor Wes Moore has earmarked $13.5 million for Maryland Department of Natural Resources in Waterway Improvement Funds to support various projects across the state. These funds will be utilized to develop new public boating access facilities, navigable public waterways dredging, emergency vessels and equipment procurement for local first responders, and other infrastructure initiatives.

Speaking on the occasion, Governor Wes Moore said, “Investing in infrastructure is integral to achieving the full potential of Maryland’s resources. This partnership between the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and our local jurisdictions is critical to improving, maintaining, and promoting the use of our public waterways.”

Governor’s Statement on Infrastructure Investment

The Waterway Improvement Fund is primarily funded through a one-time 5% excise tax imposed on boat purchases and titling within the state. A small portion of the state gas tax is also included. This fund has been instrumental in the construction and upkeep of over 400 public boating facilities, more than 250 public navigational channels statewide, as well as the acquisition of vessels.

Maryland Secretary, Natural Resources Secretary, Josh Kurtz emphasized, “Maryland’s Waterway Improvement Fund is an outstanding example of a user-pay, user-benefit program. It is supported mainly by Maryland’s boating public and is crucial in supporting local initiatives.”

Projects for funding consideration are reviewed and selected based on the needs and priorities of local governments and the state, focusing on the benefits they provide to the general motor boating public.

From July 15, the Department of Natural Resources will begin accepting applications for Waterway Improvement Fund projects for the next fiscal year. This will be done through the department’s online Grants Gateway platform.

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