The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) is now accepting applications for funding through the newly expanded Erie Access Improvement Grant Program, according to Senator Dan Laughlin, who strongly supported the expansion. The program is funded by the Lake Erie or Combination Trout/Lake Erie permits sold to anglers. No state general funds are used for any PFBC program.
Prior to the enactment of Act 56 of 2020, a measure strongly supported by Senator Laughlin, grant funding was limited to providing for public fishing access or habitat improvements on Lake Erie, Presque Isle Bay and their tributaries.
The law — which was unanimously approved in April 2019 by the Senate Game & Fisheries Committee that Senator Laughlin chairs — expanded the permitted uses of the grant money to include the development of new, expansion of existing, or the rehabilitation of access sites, access roads, parking areas, ADA facilities, habitat projects, fisheries research, and fish cleaning stations.
“Enactment of Act 56 provided much greater latitude for the use of the money raised from the permits,” Senator Laughlin said. “Most importantly, the funds stay here in Erie, which is good. What’s even better is that the revenues can now be invested in a variety of ways that improve the overall fishing experience for local anglers and the thousands of others who travel here to enjoy the sport. That’s a win not just for anglers, but also for our local businesses and economy as well.”
The Erie Access Improvement Program is open to townships, boroughs, municipal and county governments, as well as nonprofit groups including land trusts, conservancies, and watershed associations.
The application deadline is December 30, 2020. Applicants must provide a 50 percent grant match and enter into a long-term agreement to keep the facility open to free public use. Priority will be given to applicants that provide more than the required 50 percent match.
More information about the Erie Access Improvement Program and application forms are available at https://www.fishandboat.com/Transact/Grants/Pages/default.aspx.
Contact: Matt Azeles firstname.lastname@example.org