As taxes continue to dominate the political agenda, it's an interesting time to run stories about how tax dollars are being used.
One example comes in the form of a recent Dept. of Interior/US Fish and Wildlife Service award of $12 million for construction of docks, boat slips, and other recreational boating facilities at 13 locations in 10 states. The money for this annual grantmaking comes from taxes paid on certain fishing and boating equipment and fuels, and is typically matched to some extent with funds provided by a state or local entity. Talking with those who boat and fish in these areas could yield interesting insights about these uses of tax money.
The project locations are:
- CA: Monterey Bay, Breakwater Cove Marina
- CA: Oxnard, Peninsula Park Transient Dock Facility
- CA: Treasure Island, Treasure Island Marina
- FL: Riviera Beach, Riviera Beach Municipal Marina
- FL: West Palm Beach, Rybovich Marina
- IN: Michigan City, Washington Park Marina
- KY: Paducah, Ohio River facilities
- NJ: Brick Township, Trader's Cove Marina
- NC: Beaufort, Town Creek facilities
- NY: Clayton, Clayton Transient Dock Facility
- OR: Charleston, Charleston Marina Complex
- TN: Clarksville, Cumberland River facilities
- VA: Richmond, James River facilities
An Interior/FWS press release of April 16, 2010, provides more details about the projects and the tax funding: "Interior Secretary Ken Salazar Announces Major Boating Grants for (Ten) States."  Media, Joshua Winchell,  703-358-2279.
Interior awarded these grants on a competitive basis, selecting winners from 22 applications. In addition, Interior is planning on soon awarding an additional $2.9 million as matching funds for projects in 31 states, commonwealths, and territories on a noncompetitive basis. Each state determines where its allocation will go.
- You can expand your coverage by checking on progress with last year's grant winners that received $12.5 million for 14 projects in 11 states (CA, FL, IL, ME, MS, NC, OH, PA, TX, VA, and WA). April 9, 2009, Interior/FWS press release, "Interior Secretary Ken Salazar Announces Major Boating Grants for 11 States." 
For more information on the Boating Infrastructure Grant Program that is the source of this money, see the BIG overview.