Small Harbor Improvement Program, MaineDOT, Application Process is Open


This is a reminder that the MaineDOT Small Harbor Improvement Program is now accepting Letters of Intent (LOI) for communities interested in SHIP funding to assist with local facilities for upcoming budget(s).  The program requires a minimum 50% match.

To be realistically eligible for funding assistance for the next budget (potentially calendar year 2015), a community will need to submit the LOI by March 31st.   Local match for the proposed project will need to be officially approved in a budget by June 30th to be considered for the next round of funding.

MaineDOT will schedule site visits as needed once a Letter of Intent has been filed (strongly suggested: send by March 31st). Once a proposed project in a letter of intent has been deemed eligible, the community will be eligible to submit an application.

Letter of Intent Documents (can be sent via email or in hard copy to Dan Stewart)

Additional Information!

Small Harbor Improvement Program

Link to Website:

This grant application is open to tidewater communities that can demonstrate a need to improve economic activity and improve access to a tidewater river or the ocean on publicly accessible property. Typical types of projects funded under this program include commercial and municipal wharf improvements, hoist systems, boat ramps, gangways, stairwells to clam flats, piling replacements, etc. The goal of this program is to promote economic development, improve public marine infrastructure, and improve public access. MaineDOT urges each community to contact us as soon possible with your project ideas/needs to begin the process for potential inclusion in upcoming budgets.



On-Going Application Process!

MaineDOT will schedule site visits as needed after Letters of Intent have been filed. Below are a few specifics regarding the application process.


Project Eligibility

The project proposal must meet three basic criteria:

< >Project must improve access to the water for the public, including but not limited to commercial and recreational fishermen and other resource and tourism related industries. Proposed project must be on current or proposed public access facilities. If the project is not on public property, the public must have easement rights for at least 100 years. The project and proposed local match must have local elected official approval before considered eligible for inclusion in future budgets. 1.    Design – If a project is unlikely to be fully designed or permitted in time for construction to begin this upcoming season, design only is eligible for funding in 2014.


2.    Construction – If a project is ready to begin construction this winter, spring, or next summer, construction is eligible for funding.

3.    Most projects will be locally administered, and overseen by MaineDOT.

4.    A local cash match of at least 50% of the total project cost is required. The project must have a useful life of 20 years or greater.

5.    5. The schedule calls for project applications to be submitted by June 30th (and local match already approved) of any given year to be eligible for construction the following calendar year.


2014 Approved Projects

On January 29th, 2014, MaineDOT sent out notice of approval for 19 projects throughout the state totaling more than $2.75 million dollars in improvements. The approximately $1.25 million dollars in SHIP funding was matched by more than $1,500,000 in local funding. The project approved including commercial and municipal pier, bulkhead, and wharf improvements, hoist systems, navigational aids, gangways, stairwells, piling replacements, improved marine access, and new, expanded, and replacement boat ramps and floats. These projects are intended to assist coastal tidewater communities improve facilities to assist commercial and recreational fisherman, boaters, clammers, lobsterman, and other entities reliant on improved access for economic and transportation marine related needs.

View the list of approved projects for 2014.

The Small Harbor Improvement Program (SHIP) promotes economic development, public access, improved commercial fishing opportunities and works to preserve, and create, infrastructure at facilities in tidewater and coastal municipalities. The SHIP program assists municipalities in improving or creating facilities, such as; public wharves, piers, landings and boat ramps. There is a required 50% local share under this program.

View the Powerpoint overview of SHIP and Boating Infrastructure Grant Program