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South Carolina Department
of Natural Resources

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Federal money supports improvements at two South Carolina marinas


Aug. 29, 2023

Two South Carolina marinas recently completed projects to improve the tie-up facilities available to large visiting recreational vessels.

The Cooper River Marina at Cooper River County Park in Charleston and Palmetto Bay Marine on Hilton Head Island were collectively awarded $1,664,000 in federal funds for the projects through the Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) program. Using money from excise taxes on fishing equipment, motorboat and small engine fuels and import duties, the program provides funding for marinas across the country to construct, renovate or maintain tie-up facilities and safe harbors for recreational boats 26 feet or more in length.

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources administers the BIG program in South Carolina through competitive grants.

The Cooper River Marina, operated by Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission, received approximately $164,000 in federal dollars to help with necessary maintenance on existing dedicated transient docks (which were constructed in part with previous Boating Infrastructure Grants). The grant provided funding for the replacement of select thru-rods, finger gusset brackets and pile guides that were reaching the end of their serviceable life.

Palmetto Bay Marina on Hilton Head Island recently completed construction on a new transient boater facility totaling 3,129 linear feet of new dock length. The marina was awarded $1,500,000 for the project, which also included additional utilities such as showers and restrooms, Wi-Fi, security and emergency response stations. This project not only provides much needed dockage opportunities but also provides a comfortable, convenient facility that will serve as an excellent entry point to take advantage of Hilton Head Island’s many attractions.

Funds for the BIG program are provided annually from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund and are derived from excise taxes on fishing equipment, motorboat and small engine fuels, import duties and interest on the fund.

Marinas interested in applying for BIG grants can learn more about the program by clicking here.

For additional information, contact:
Erin Weeks, S.C. Department of Natural Resources,, (843) 953-9845