Waterways Program Grants

  • Due to record high water levels, the DNR anticipates that available 2020 grant funding may be impacted due to emergency repair requests.

    Program Objectives:

    Waterways Program grants provide assistance for engineering studies and infrastructure improvement projects at 63 Grant-in-Aid harbors and boating access sites. Approximately $3 million will be available to applicants in FY2020. Eligible applicants include local units of government (city, village, township and county) and state colleges and universities.


    On-site investigation by department staff may be required to determine suitability of proposed work. Applicant may also be required to document area boating demand. Greater priority may be given to projects for which a local applicant documents match capabilities equal to or greater than the percentage of project cost they are required to provide. The local match can include in-kind expenses as long as they are well-documented.

    Additional harbor/marina grant application requirements include:

    • An approved Harbor/Marina Facilities 5-year Recreation Plan (or amendment to the 5-year plan) shall include the following:
      • A description of how your community intends to address recreational plan elements like correct size of facility, marketing/events/partnering plans, dredging needs, dredging cycles (how often), dredge volume, and disposal location.
      • Address infrastructure replacement schedules, annual maintenance schedules and replacement or habilitation schedules of large investments like docks, buildings, etc. A brief description is acceptable and may be covered in the goals and objectives and the action program.
    • The last three years of harbor traffic (harbor logs)
    • The last three years of financial summaries for the harbor (submitted with the community's Waterways grant application)


    Eligible applicants include local units of government (city, village, township and county) and state colleges and universities. Local units and universities may cooperate with sports/community organizations in the implementation of projects. 

    Application Process:

    1. Submit application form
    2. Technical review by department staff
    3. Grants are awarded based on department review, prioritization, and funding appropriation.
    4. Large projects will require a completed preliminary engineering study and permit approval prior to grant consideration for construction.


    Applications must be received by April 1 by 5 p.m. 


    The application review and funding process takes place April 1 until an appropriation is approved by the legislature. This can take up to approximately 18-24 months.

    Dollar Amounts Available:

    Grant assistance is provided at a base level of 50% of the estimated project cost. Requests for less than 50% state funding will be given additional preference in the selection process.

    Sources of Funds:

    Michigan State Waterways Fund.


    Annual appropriation by the Michigan Legislature.


    Paul Petersen, Waterways Grants Program Manager: 517-284-6122 or petersenp@michigan.gov