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Marine Fisheries - 07 2015 News Release Archives

Marine Fisheries

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News Release Archives - July 2015


Release: Immediate
Date: July 27, 2015
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

Grants available for transient recreational boating facilities

MOREHEAD CITY — The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries is accepting proposals for the Boating Infrastructure Grant Program, or BIG, for federal fiscal year 2016.

BIG is a grant program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that reimburses up to 75 percent of costs for projects that construct, renovate or maintain tie-up facilities and related amenities for recreational transient vessels that are at least 26 feet long. The grant program was authorized by Congress in 1998 and is funded by excise taxes on fishing equipment and motorboat fuel.

The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries serves as the liaison between projects in North Carolina and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the BIG Program. Proposals must be submitted to the division to be considered for this funding opportunity.

Some examples of potentially eligible activities include transient slips, mooring buoys, day-docks, floating and fixed piers and breakwaters, dinghy docks, restrooms, showers, laundry facilities, retaining walls, bulkheads, dockside utilities (water, electric, telephone, Internet), sewage pump-out stations, recycling and trash receptacles, navigational aids and marine fueling stations. Applicants must have or intend to construct dedicated dockage for transient vessels to receive funding for these eligible activities.

BIG funds are awarded each year. Grants are available on a two-tiered basis. For Tier 1 — state grants, all states may receive up to $200,000 per grant cycle as long as proposals meet the program's guidelines. Tier 2 — national grants are reserved for large-scale, more expensive undertakings and are awarded on a nationwide competitive basis. For this funding opportunity, applicants may apply for up to $200,000 under Tier 1 and up to $1.5 million under Tier 2.

For information about grant availability, project eligibility, and proposal development, visit the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ website at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf, or contact Kelly Price, federal aid coordinator for the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, at P.O. Box 769, Morehead City, N.C. 28557-0769. Price can also be contacted by phone at 252-808-8168 or 800-682-2632 (in North Carolina only), or via email at Kelly.Price@ncdenr.gov .

The deadline for applications to be received by the state Division of Marine Fisheries is Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. Electronic submission is required.

nr-30-2015


Release: Immediate
Date: July 23, 2015
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

Ship sinking to honor former artificial reef coordinator
delayed until autumn

MOREHEAD CITY — The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries continues to move forward with plans to construct an underwater memorial in honor of the division’s former Artificial Reef Coordinator Jim Francesconi, but the project has been delayed until autumn.

The vessel originally identified for sinking in Francesconi’s name is no longer available. An alternative vessel has been found, and efforts to contract for purchase, cleaning, towing and sinking the ship are underway.

The division will oversee sinking of the vessel on the Howard Chapin Reef (AR-330), about 12 miles outside of Beaufort Inlet. The vessel will be sunk near the wreck of the USS Indra, a 330-foot landing craft repair ship sunk on the reef site in 1992.

This reef is very popular with fishermen and divers, and the addition of another vessel will provide greater access and opportunity to both of these user groups.

Francesconi, who began working for the division in 1987, headed the Artificial Reef Program for 14 years before losing a battle with leukemia on July 18, 2014.

He oversaw the deployment and sinking of several reef vessels including the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Spar, the tug Titan, the Captain Greg Mickey, the tug Pawtucket, the Captain Charlie and two Coast Guard Falcon Aircraft.

The project will cost about $120,000. About $70,000 will come from a special fund that receives money from the sale of SCUBA license plates.

Significant funding has also been generated through donations from local businesses; fishing, diving and civic clubs; and from a GoFundMe account located at http://www.GoFundMe.com/JJF-Reef-Project. Members of the public can follow the progress of this project on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/JJFReefProject.

For more information about the Artificial Reef Program or details of the ship’s sinking, contact division Habitat and Enhancement Section Chief Steve Murphey at 252-808-8046 or Steve.Murphey@ncdenr.gov.

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