AUSTIN, Texas — Four projects designed to enhance boating access to Texas waters will share more than $1.4 million in matching federal grants through the State Boating Access Program.

Boat ramp facility improvement projects at Lake Buchanan, Cameron Park in Waco, Port Aransas and Surfside Beach were approved by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission at its Jan. 24 meeting.

The State Boating Access Program was authorized in 1975 by the Texas Legislature. The program provides funds for the purchase, construction, renovation and maintenance of boat ramps, access roads and other related facilities to improve recreational boating access to public waters. Construction for approved projects is supported on a 75 percent (federal), 25 percent (local) basis.

While the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department administers the grants, funding comes from the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act, also known as Wallop-Breaux for the original congressional sponsors. The Sport Fish Restoration program is funded by revenues from a portion of federal gasoline taxes generated when recreational boaters gas up their boats and a federal excise tax on items such as fishing rods, reels, creels, lures, flies and artificial baits.

Following are summaries of the projects receiving matching grant funds:

Black Rock Park Boat Ramp Renovation

Llano County is receiving $403,100 for replacement of a 2-lane boat ramp at Black Rock Park on Lake Buchanan that will be useable at more varied water levels, along with a parking area and signage.

Cameron Park Boat Ramp Improvements

The City of Waco is receiving $500,000 for replacement of an existing boat ramp, parking lot improvements, new courtesy docks, lighting, an access road and signs at Cameron Park East. The park is located at the confluence of the Brazos and Bosque Rivers. The existing boat ramp is aged.

Municipal Harbor Ramp Improvements

The City of Port Aransas is receiving $112,000 to renovate two lanes of boat ramps, add fish cleaning station, shade structure, security lighting and signs at the Municipal Harbor ramp. The facility provides public boating access to the Corpus Christi Ship Channel.

Village of Surfside Beach Boat Ramp

The Village of Surfside Beach is receiving $125,174 for construction of a new restroom, security lighting, fish cleaning station, and expanded parking area, at a newly constructed boat ramp. The facility will provide public boating access to the Gulf of Mexico and the Intracoastal Waterway via the Freeport Ship Channel.

Organizations that submitted grant applications but were not funded in the current round are invited to resubmit their applications for consideration in the next round of grants, projected to be in October 2008.