Water Recreation Access Cost-Share Program

What is this Program?
The Water Recreation Access Cost-Share Program is available for constructing or improving boat access facilities to Iowa's lakes and streams. Projects can include boat ramps, loading/off-loading docks and other structures to enhance use by the public.

Who may apply?
Political subdivisions of the State of Iowa may participate in the program. The project must have a cost share eligible estimate of $1,000. The application must be submitted and approved prior to expenditure of funds by the local sponsor or it is ineligible.

Projects that will not be funded include:

  • Acquisition of land when the principal use of the land will be for something other than recreation boating access.
  • Development which will not provide improved or increased public access to boating waters.
  • Force account labor (sponsor's own labor and equipment) or donated labor and equipment use. Cost for materials may be eligible for reimbursement for these types of projects.
  • Projects which contain commercial use (defined as facilities for which a fee is charged).

Funding Possibilities:
Approved projects are funded on a 75% state to 25% local cost share. If a political subdivision is managing DNR property under a long term agreement, the funding can be 100% state. Sponsors wishing to furnish their own equipment and labor can receive 100% of the cost of materials for the project. Projects can also be funded at 50% Federal Coast Guard and 50% Marine Fuel Tax if federal funds are available. If federal match dollars are available the awardee will be notified as construction or design work funded through the grant cannot start until after the beginning of the federal fiscal year which starts annually on October 1. Design, permitting and bid letting can be completed prior to October 1 if no funding is requested for those actions.

How & Where to Apply?
Applications are found in the Water Recreation Access Cost-Share Program Information Packet.  If you have questions, please call Michelle Wilson at 515-725-8441 or by e-mailing Michelle.Wilson@dnr.iowa.gov.

Water Recreation Access Cost-Share Program Information Packet and Form
Water Recreation Access Cost-Share Program Information Packet and Form

Completed forms must be mailed to the District Fisheries Supervisor's Office for the appropriate region:
NW - 122 252nd Avenue, Spirit Lake, IA 51360; 712/336-1840
SW - Cold Springs State Park, Lewis, IA 51544; 712/769-2587
NE - State Fish Hatchery, 22693 205th Avenue, Manchester, IA 52057; 563/927-3276
SE - Lake Darling Station, 10 Lake Darling Road, Brighton, IA 52540; 319/694-2430

The application deadline is September 30, annually.

Construction Permits:
Applicants need to meet the requirements for construction permits from federal, state and local authorities before constructing their projects. Receipt of state funding does not eliminate the need for appropriate construction permits.