California Accepting Applications for On-the-Water Boating Safety Education Grants

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) is now accepting Aquatic Center Education Grant applications to help keep water enthusiasts safe on California’s waterways. Local public agencies, nonprofit organizations, colleges and universities operating on-the-water boating safety education programs within California can apply for these education grants. The application deadline is Tuesday, November 5, 2019, by 5 p.m.

California is home to many aquatic centers where children, youth and adults learn how to safely operate recreational vessels. Universities, colleges, local public agencies, and non-profit organizations operate these centers and provide classroom and on-the-water boating safety education in kayaking, canoeing, water skiing, powerboating, sailing, personal watercraft operation and other aquatic activities. Some centers specialize in programs for the disabled.

In the past two-year funding cycle, DBW awarded more than $2 million to 42 aquatic center programs throughout the state, benefiting more than 65,000 new and intermediate boaters. Funding covered the following items:

  • Boating equipment and supplies.
  • Student scholarships for on-the-water boating courses.
  • Boating instructor training.
  • Boating safety-related events connected with National Safe Boating Week (NSBW), a week in May dedicated to promoting safe and responsible boating.

For this grant cycle, DBW has allocated up to $1 million for the program. The maximum grant award is $40,000 per grantee for a combination of equipment, scholarship and instructor training requests. Supplemental funding of up to $2,000 is available for NSBW events.

Interested applicants should first review the Frequently Asked Questions on DBW’s grants web page to determine if they meet the necessary requirements. The online grant application (OGAL) system is located on the same web page.

Each application will be ranked and scored based on its demonstration of the applicant’s ability to safely and effectively teach on-the-water boating safety courses, enhance boaters’ knowledge of boating laws, demonstrate practical handling of vessels, understand weather and water conditions, and provide other boating safety information.

DBW administers the Aquatic Center Education Grant Program, which is funded by the U.S. Coast Guard’s Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund. Over the past 10 years, the division has administered approximately $12.4 million in grant funding for aquatic centers throughout California.

For detailed information on the grant program, please visit DBW’s grants web page at


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