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TPW Commission Approves Lake Sam Rayburn Boating Access Grant
AUSTIN, Texas — Due to funding constraints, only one boat ramp project received a 75 percent matching grant of $500,000 from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in the latest round of grants. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission approved the project at its Aug. 23 meeting.
The Angelina County grant will help pay for the construction of a five-lane boat ramp, parking area, access road, lighting and signage. The facility provides public boating access to Lake Sam Rayburn, Angelina County at Cassels-Boykin Park.
The State Boating Access Program was authorized in 1975 by the Texas Legislature. The program provides funds for the purchase, construction, renovation and maintenance of boat ramps, access roads and other related facilities to improve recreational boating access to public waters. Construction for approved projects is supported on a 75 percent (federal), 25 percent (local) basis.
While the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department administers the grants, funding comes from the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act, also known as Wallop-Breaux for the original congressional sponsors. The Sport Fish Restoration program is funded by revenues from a portion of federal gasoline taxes generated when recreational boaters gas up their boats and a federal excise tax on items such as fishing rods, reels, creels, lures, flies and artificial baits.
The Department recently received six applications for renovations of existing boat ramps or for new ramp construction requesting $2,214,025 in matching fund assistance. Based on site visits and analyses, the projects have been ranked in descending order of priority. Currently, funding is available only for the top-ranked project, submitted by Angelina County. In addition, some $379,500 in boating access funds will go toward aquatic vegetation control to improve boating access to Lakes Conroe, Toledo Bend, Caddo and Austin.
Organizations that submitted grant applications but were not funded in the current round are invited to resubmit their applications for consideration in the next round of grants, projected to be in January 2008.
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