Ohio DNR Boating Safety Education Grant

Ohio Department of Natural Resources

Grant amount: US $1,000 - US $30,000

Anticipated deadline: Nov 1, 2018

Applicant type: Nonprofit Government Entity College / University Elementary / Secondary School

Funding uses: Education / Outreach

Location of project: Ohio

Location of residency: Ohio

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In 1982, the Ohio Legislature authorized the awarding of boating safety education grants to qualified political subdivisions to be administered through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Watercraft. In 1990, legislation was passed expanding the boating safety education grant program to include qualifying non-profit organizations.

One of the goals of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources is to reduce boating accidents, mishaps, and fatalities within the state of Ohio through boater education. Grant awards will be based on the potential success of the program toward this goal.

Grants ranging from $1,000 to $30,000 per program are awarded on a "cost share" basis with the applicant matching at least 25% of the total program cost. These boating safety education grants are available to eligible applicants for use to establish, develop, expand, maintain and promote boating safety programs. Proposals are considered based on the funding requirements stated within these guidelines. Proposals compete against other applications for the limited available funding.

Grant money is appropriated through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Waterways Safety Fund. The Waterways Safety Fund comprises boat registration fees, seven-eighths of a percent (0.875%) of the state gasoline tax, and federal funding from the U.S. Coast Guard. No state general revenue funds are used

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Eligible applicants:
    • The following agencies and organizations are eligible for the Boating Safety Education Grant.
      • Coast Guard Auxiliary Association
      • U.S. Power Squadrons
      • Political subdivisions, including state, county, city, township, and other local, regional and statewide forms of government
      • Conservancy districts
      • State departments
      • State-supported school systems, including colleges, universities, and local boards of education
      • Non-profit organizations 501(c)3 (proof of 501(c) 3 nonprofit I.R.S. tax filing status must be in effect prior to the application deadline and attached to the application).
  • Funding requirements:
    • The following are established requirements for grant applicants applying for funding to increase boating education efforts in local communities.
    • The requirements are of high importance and are listed in a random order with no intended priority ranking.
    • If the applicant does not state in a clear, detailed plan how their organization’s boating program will meet one or more of these requirements, the applicant will not be eligible for funding that year.
      • Mandatory Boating Education Classes: It is important to provide year-round availability of approved classroom courses that will assist boaters in meeting the education requirements of Ohio’s mandatory boating education law. This law requires boaters born on or after January 1, 1982, to complete a NASBLA-approved course before operating a boat more than ten horsepower. A boater that is not required to meet the education requirement is more likely to voluntarily complete a course if courses are offered at convenient times in or near their local community.
        • A minimum of four courses per year is required from programs that intend to offer NASBLA-approved courses. Programs offering more than four courses per year will be evaluated more favorably.
        • Note: Funding will only be available for training, books, classroom rental, and advertising.
          • Advertising awards will be capped at $1,000.00 per application for all programs.
      • Skill Development for Non-traditionalBoating Groups:
        • The department will award grant funds to organizations that can provide detailed plans on how their program will provide hands-on skill development training of boat operation to the following user groups:
          • individuals from urban areas,
          • persons from Hispanic cultures/backgrounds,
          • prisoners of war,
          • veterans, or
          • residents from the Appalachian counties of Ohio
        • A minimum of four courses per year is required.
        • Advertising awards will be capped at $1,000.00 per application for all programs.
      • Boating for people with Disabilities: Boating safety education must be available to all boaters regardless of disability. ODNR seeks to reduce barriers to access of educational programs. A traditional classroom setting, typical student materials, and standard boating equipment are not suited to every learning need.
        • Funding consideration will be given to programs designed for people with disabilities and special needs.
        • A minimum of four courses per year is required.
        • Advertising awards will be capped at $1,000.00 per application for all programs.
      • Paddling Rescue Programs: With the increasing popularity of paddle sports across the state, the department is looking to provide organizations with funding to teach safety and rescue boating education programs for paddling on Ohio’s waterways.
        • The program must teach paddlers, higher than a basic level, rescue techniques for river, and/or flat water paddling.
        • Topics to be included are proper personal flotation device wear, what to do in emergencies (falls overboard, capsizing) identifying hazards, self -rescues, rescuing other boaters, and managing groups on the water.
        • Advertising awards will be capped at $1,000.00 per application for all programs.
    • NOTE: Wearing life jackets properly is MANDATORY for all on-the-water programs and activities that are funded by this grant.
  • Note: Grant recipients are eligible for boating safety education grants only once every three years. All past grants must be completed and final reports submitted before the current application deadline.


  • Pass-through grants are ineligible. For example, a 501(c) 3 applies for the grant, but the funds are used by a for-profit entity.