Deltaville Boatyard Wins Federal Grant, Gets Spruced Up

Deltaville Boatyard and Marina, on Jackson Creek, is making several improvements thanks to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Boating Infrastructure Grant.

Back in 2012, Deltaville Boatyard President Keith Ruse applied for a portion of the $14 million in federal boating infrastructure funds available. Ruse says he was competing against companies and cities as far away as Hawaii.

The $1.2 million Ruse was able to secure have allowed Deltaville to tear down its covered sheds and build floating transient docks in their place. The new docks can accomodate four 95-foot boats, ten 60-foot boats, and several more 40-foot boats.

Some of the docks are already in place, as shown in Ruse’s short video below:

Deltaville Boatyard was also able to dredge its entrance channel, with the help of the Virginia Port Authority. Its entrance is now ten feet deep at mean low water.

In addition to the new docks and better access for big boats, Deltaville also put the funds it won towards new bathhouses, fuel system, and pumpout facilities. And Dominion Energy agreed to upgrade the power supply, knowing that transients make good power customers. All of the work is expected to be finished by the end of the year.

The Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) “provides grant funds to the states, the District of Columbia and insular areas to construct, renovate, and maintain tie-up facilities with features for transient boaters in vessels 26 feet or more in length.” The funds come from federal excise taxes on fishing equipment, motorboat and small engine fuels, and import duties.

As Ruse explains, improving transient docking facilities brings an economic benefit up and down the coast, as it encourages cruisers to stop, fuel up, and patronize local restaurants and shops.

Deltaville is an especially good transient destination, since it’s a day trip from either Solomons or Norfolk. But Ruse says that’s not the only reason his marina and boatyard in Deltaville won this big national grant.

He puts it simply: “We applied. So many other marinas and boatyards just don’t know the grant exists.”

Ruse first learned about BIG because of his relationship with the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, who encouraged him to apply.

“It’s all federal money that’s just sitting there,” says Ruse. “They want to support business on a local level.”