Marina Infrastructure Grant Funding: Strategies for Success

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This presentation will highlight the types of grants available and help walk marine infrastructure owners/operators through the grant application process. The seminar will take industry professionals beyond the more widely known boat launch ramp and Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) type grants and introduce them to other, less well-known funding streams. The focus will be the broad range of federal, state, and local grants available that are targeted specifically for marine infrastructure or related studies. The session will also introduce other, nongovernment agencies that offer grants for infrastructure — ranging from new piers, to beach nourishment, to studies on building resilience to future extreme weather events, to programs for research and education on marine ecosystems.

The session will review:
• How to identify key federal, state and other resource agencies that offer potential grant funding
• Research owner/operator funding mechanisms (private equity, loan, federal, state, etc.), funding goals, and construction timelines  to understand grant streams that are worth pursuing
• Understanding the application process including data gathering, grant application language, providing exhibits and cost estimates
• Consulting with the grant issuing agency to clarify specific requirements for grant eligibility and a site visit (typically required)
• Understanding the selected grant issuing agency’s submittal procedure and schedule
• Exploring alternative, lesser known grant opportunities targeted at marine waterfront infrastructure (e.g., TIGER, FEMA, etc.)

Robert Sloop, P.E.
Mr. Sloop has more than 20 years of experience in coastal engineering and waterfront destination design. He has served in roles from project engineer through project management and senior quality control of US and international projects involving waterfront design, public access, regulatory compliance, sustainability, and resiliency in both natural and urban settings. These projects vary in settings from wetland restoration to large scale-waterfront development and the tasks rage from conceptual development through final design, construction and long-term monitoring. Typical projects include public and private marinas, breakwaters, boat ramps, dredging, navigation improvements, beach creation, flood protection, and harbor design. He specializes in developing integrated plans that combine hardscape solutions with sustainable and resilient environmental enhancements that provide a complete waterfront experience. His responsibilities include due diligence, concept development, grant assistance, stakeholder outreach, planning, underwater inspection, permit support, design, construction drawings and specification preparation, and construction support. Many of his projects have been located in remote locations in developing countries and required innovative solutions to develop design criteria and construction solutions without the use of typical construction means and materials.


Jerry Holcomb, P.E.
Mr. Holcomb brings more than 10 years of waterfront project experience and a specialized expertise in structural engineering and marine construction. Key roles in past projects include facility master planning, grant assistance, stakeholder outreach, regulatory and local agency project permitting, interpretive structural modeling analysis, developing project submittal documents, and construction
management for both U.S. and international projects. His relevant experience includes projects involving floating structures, wave attenuator and fixed breakwater structures, boat launch ramp facilities, fixed pier and pile-supported wharf structures, boatyards and dry-docking facilities, vessel mooring and berthing structures, and site utilities. He has experience with coordinating projects across multiple disciplines to deliver successful projects on time and under budget. He provides overall team management, directs coordination between project owners and regulatory governing agencies, and presents engineering findings to solve construction issues as they arise. Mr. Holcomb has been involved in securing more than $8 million in grant funding for various marine facilities across the U.S. through federal, state and local government grant programs and has helped with the completion of more than a dozen grant applications specific to marine infrastructure and related studies.