Aquatic Center Grant Program

List of Aquatic Centers

The Grant renewal application period is now open in OLGA and will close Friday December 2, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. PST. Please submit your applications as soon as possible. This renewal application is limited to grantees who received funding in the 15/16 fiscal year.

Any additional users who have not yet created a profile in OLGA should refer to the "Step by Step Instructions" available via the link under "Quick Hits" on the left of this page. Please review this information before beginning your application.

The link to access and begin your application via OLGA is the first link on the left of this page, "ONLINE GRANT APPLICATION (OLGA)."

If you have any questions regarding the Aquatic Center Grant Program, please contact:

Grant Management Information

  1. Reimbursement Claim - Equipment Summary Form
  2. Reimbursement Claim - Scholarship Summary Form
  3. Reimbursement Claim - Training Summary Form
  4. Reimbursement Claim - National Safe Boating Week Summary Form
  5. Aquatic Center Grant Program Manual
  6. Release of Liability Form-Selling Equipment

General Information

California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) promotes a safer and more enjoyable boating environment through grants to non-profit organizations, colleges, universities and local agencies operating in California that offer on-the-water training to enhance basic boating safety.

Following are frequently asked questions about the Aquatic Center Grant Program.


The mission of DBW is to provide safe and convenient public access to California's waterways and leadership in promoting the public's right to safe, enjoyable and environmentally sound recreational boating.

As part of its mission, DBW manages the Aquatic Center Grant Program to enhance boaters’ knowledge of boating laws, practical handling of vessels on the water, weather and water conditions, rules of the road, equipment requirements and environmental stewardship.

Funding is provided to organizations that offer on-the-water training to the general public that includes all of the above-mentioned topics.

The following questions are typical of those DBW receives concerning the Aquatic Center Grant Program and should provide valuable information for grant applicants.

Who may apply for funds?

Section 668.2 of the Harbors and Navigation Code allows DBW to distribute funding to local public agencies, nonprofit organizations, and colleges and universities operating within California.

When can I apply for funds?

Usually every two years, DBW opens the application period in the fall. During this period, dates and deadlines are posted on the DBW website. Please visit the website for updates since the application period can change.

What does DBW look for during the grant application process?

DBW will consider awarding grant funds to public agencies, colleges, universities and non-profit organizations that can provide on-the-water programs for enhancing boating safety education. The grant process is competitive in nature. The organization must have a positive boating safety record, must have adequately trained staff and have a safe environment in which to teach.

In addition, ideal candidates for funding would have several of these attributes:

  • Program goals that support DBW’s mission.
  • Self-sufficient program that does not totally depend on DBW funding.
  • Adequate permanent staff to ensure continuity of programming.
  • Located in sites where boating is prevalent, but there are limited opportunities to receive boating education.
  • Year-round courses where weather and water conditions permit.
  • Comprehensive and cost-effective boating safety training courses for a large segment of the general public.
  • Training for underserved populations.
  • Basic boating safety education
  • Safety training for boating activities associated with accidents.

The Aquatic Center Grant Program Manual includes grant management, as well as terms and conditions that must be followed. On-Line Grant Application (OLGA) information may be found by clicking the links in the left-hand column on this page.

After DBW receives an application for grant funds, it is reviewed to see how closely the applicant's program funding request aligns with the Aquatic Center Grant Program's goals and objectives. Usually a site visit is conducted in order to further evaluate the program. Only the most qualified applicants are granted funding.

If the application is approved, an agreement is sent to the grant recipient for signature, and then it is processed through DBW's Administrative Services Unit and signed by the Deputy Director. Additional approval occurs at the Department of General Services Office of Risk Insurance Management.

What type of equipment can be purchased with grant funds?

Vessels, and/or associated equipment that provide for boating safety education are eligible for grant funding. Examples include but are not limited to sailboats, trailers, water ski boats, canoes, kayaks, rafts, stand-up paddle boards, windsurfing equipment, boat engines, safety boats, and associated safety equipment, such as life jackets, radios, and wetsuits. Life jackets must be worn by all participants during any training paid for by grant funds or when using any vessels purchased with grant funds.

Additionally, applicants may apply for associated portable equipment such as storage sheds, equipment racks and portable docking systems.

What types of scholarships are available through grant funds?

Scholarships are available for basic non-competitive boating safety education. Scholarship funding can be used to lower the overall cost of a course in order to make it more affordable to all participants if it is estimated that the majority of people in an area cannot afford the actual tuition. Scholarship funding can also be used to partially or completely fund the tuition of individual students or specific groups of students such as school groups, outreach clubs, etc. Funding is available for disabled students as well.

What are some of the grant agreement requirements?

There are both general terms and conditions that are required by all state agreements as well as specific terms and conditions that apply to this grant program that all organizations must be able to comply with in order to be considered for funding. These include

Prospective applicants should ensure that they can comply with both the general and specific terms and conditions.

What happens after a grant is awarded?

After a grant is awarded, follow-up visits are periodically scheduled between the organization and DBW representatives. Such visits include a review of the program’s goals and inventory of the equipment purchased with DBW funds.

Additionally, the grantee shall ensure that the grant requirements are met such as attending one Aquatic Center Directors’ Meetings each year and completing an annual program report.

How long must I continue to provide annual and inventory reports to DBW?

Reports are required from grantees receiving scholarship, training, and National Safe Boating Week funds each year they receive funding for the stated program requirements. For vessels, engines and other equipment purchased with grant funds, annual reports and inventory forms are required as long as the equipment remains in use or until it is approved by DBW to be sold and/or replaced.

How do I receive the funds I have been awarded?

No money is awarded upon approval of the contract; all funds are distributed through reimbursement only. Reimbursement requests must be submitted in accordance with the specific terms and conditions and must be accompanied by proof of payment. Purchase orders from manufactures/dealers will not be accepted in place of invoices when requesting reimbursement from DBW.

The length of time to receive reimbursement varies. Contractors should ensure that they carefully follow the billing instructions to ensure maximum speed of payment. Once the correctly completed request for payment leaves DBW, it goes to the DPR Accounting Unit and then to the California State Controller’s Office where the actual check is processed and mailed to the grantee. This process generally takes six weeks to complete if all documentation is in place. Programs without sufficient funds to cover payments while waiting for reimbursement should not apply for grant funding.

For more information regarding DBW’s Aquatic Center Grant Program, contact the following individuals:

Amy Rigby Johanna Naughton
(916) 327-1848 (916) 327-1826

Aquatic Center Director's Meetings

Aquatic center director meetings provide an opportunity for aquatic center directors throughout the state to come together and discuss boating-related topics. (Meetings are open to the public.)
Topics of discussion have included:

  • Aquatic programs for children, including youth at-risk programs
  • Ways to make program dollars go further
  • Programs for the disabled
  • Sharing instructional videos and manuals
  • Grant writing workshops
  • How aquatic centers can form valuable partnerships with municipal governments and other area organizations
  • Role of the Internet in aquatic center programs

Meeting attendees get the chance to network with others who direct programs similar to theirs, affording them a chance to share ideas and find ways to offer better, safer and often cheaper programs.

The meetings are held twice a year, in spring and fall. The spring meeting takes place in Northern California, usually in the month of March. Southern California's meeting takes place in October. Agencies participating in the grant program volunteer to host a meeting. The meeting lasts two days and occasionally includes a third day, which involves a boating activity.


Event: Spring 2017 Aquatic Center Directors' Meeting
Date: March 7 and 8, 2017; Travel Day March 6
Place: Humboldt State University Aquatic Center, Arcata, CA

For meeting information, please contact Amy Rigby at

How do I appeal the denial of a permit, license or application?

Contact the Acting Deputy Director of the Division of Boating and Waterways at:

E-mail: Jared Zucker, Administrative Liaison to the Acting Deputy Director
Call: (888) 326-2822
Write: Lynn Sadler, Deputy Director
One Capitol Mall, Suite 410
Sacramento, CA 95814