Corpus Christi Marina is a Showplace for Sport Fish Restoration Grants

Anglers helped fund the marina’s improvements through excise taxes. Now they’re reaping the rewards.

The recently improved marina at Corpus Christi.

 

The journey of many miles starts with the first step.

The renovation of the Corpus Christi Municipal Marina dates back to the year 2000, when the first of what would become seven grants from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program (WSFR) was made available to modernize the popular boating facility.

Sixteen years later, boaters and anglers from across the U.S. and around the world come to the Texas Gulf Coast to enjoy a top-notch marina for boats big and little. It’s an excellent launch point for near-shore anglers and recreational boaters on long sojourns.

“This marina is hugely important to both boaters and anglers on the Texas Gulf Coast, and exemplifies how the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program works in partnership with others to improve boating access and infrastructures,” said Cliff Schleusner, Chief of WSFR in the Southwest Region. “Boaters and anglers paid for it in excise tax, and now they and others reap the benefits.”

The WSFR Program stems from two acts of Congress—laws originally enacted in 1937 and 1950—that laid the path for a user-pay, user-benefit system where the end outcome is improved hunting, fishing, and boating. Manufacturers and importers of firearms, ammo, archery gear, boats, motors and fuel, and fishing gear pay excise taxes to the Federal government. That tax is passed on to consumers at the cash register. That little bit extra is held in trust by the WSFR Program and reapportioned in grants, such as what has been received by the Corpus Christi Municipal Marina.

Since 2000, the marina has received $1,764,050 in federal funds via WSFR grants, specifically targeted at an improved marina infrastructure, access for boaters, and improved sanitary facilities to maintain clean water. The grant monies, matched by the City of Corpus Christi and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, have built modern septic pump-outs, restrooms and showers, a laundry, meeting rooms, a four-lane boat ramp, and more than 80 slips for boats greater than 26 feet in length.

The City of Corpus Christi dedicated the most recent work—35 slips for boats 30 to 45 feet in length—in a ceremony in May 2016.

The new infrastructures replace outdated and decayed materials that should better withstand the forces of hurricanes that may hit the coast. Part of the infrastructure upgrade includes Internet systems needed for navigation.

“Boating and angling are to Corpus Christi and the Texas Gulf Coast what finance is to Wall Street: inseparable,” said Schleusner. “The upgrades made to the Corpus Christi Municipal Marina should be a boon to boating and business.”

To learn more about the WSFR Program in the Southwest Region, visit: www.fws.gov/southwest/federal_assistance.

 

Craig Springer, External Affairs, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Southwest Region

 

About Craig Springer

Craig Springer's writing has been recognized with awards from the Outdoor Writers Association of America, Southeast Outdoor Press Association, and the American Fisheries Society.

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