The marina project is funded in partnership through a Federal Boating Infrastructure Grant through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Sport Fish Recreation and Boating Trust Fund. The Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) program is administered in Iowa by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. The City of Dubuque was awarded over $3 million in BIG funds to help design and build the marina.
Original plans for the marina placed it on the main channel of the Mississippi River, just south of the Dubuque Train Bridge. A protective breakwater would need to be constructed to place the marina in this location. The cost to construct such a break water would have left little funding to build utilities and services for the marina.
Before a final decision was made, the Diamond Jo Casino boat expressed an interest in moving to a land based facility. The casino boat was removed from the protected Ice Harbor of Dubuque, opening up a water front for the construction of the marina.