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$14 Million in Grants Support Clean Waters and Recreational Boating

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced in late June that more than $14.7 million will be awarded to 23 states under the Clean Vessel Act (CVA) grant program in 2013. 

The first CVA awards were made in 1993. Since that time, the service’s Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program has awarded more than $200 million to states for projects funding construction, replacement, renovation and maintenance of facilities that assist recreational boaters in properly disposing of onboard septic waste. The program also provides information and education on the importance, benefits and availability of pump outs.

“Clean Vessel Act grants are essential to ensure clean water and healthy environments that allow for recreational boating opportunities,” said Service Director Dan Ashe. “The CVA program has a substantial economic impact on local communities, which is a win-win situation for conservation initiatives and businesses across America.”

Funds for the CVA program are provided annually from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust fund. These funds are derived through the collection of fishing tackle manufacturer excise taxes and boat and fishing import duties, as well as motorboat and small engine fuel taxes. The program supports the user-pay, public-benefit cycle that has led to the successes of the Sport Fish Restoration programs. States apply for CVA funding and they or their partners provide matching funds to complete projects. Sub-grantees often include local municipalities and private marinas.

In addition to traditional on-dock pump outs, projects include pump-out boats that travel in designated harbors to make the sewage collection process more efficient and convenient. Some states also install floating restrooms in areas where boaters congregate and no restrooms are available.

“The Clean Vessel Act is a critical tool in helping the states to maintain clean and healthy waters for people and wildlife alike,” said Assistant Director Hannibal Bolton of the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program. “The pump outs built through these funds ensure clean drinking water, sustainable ecosystems and healthy recreational areas will be accessible to the American people.”

Recommended Clean Vessel Act Awards for the fiscal year 2013 in the Heartland area include:

Alabama – Coastal $203,983, Inland $81,483 – The Alabama Department of Environmental Management plans to install six new coastal and four new inland pump outs. They will continue their information and education program by distributing written and electronic materials and participating in workshops and boat shows. The new pump outs will increase the available pump outs along the coast by 22 percent and in inland waters by 9 percent.

Arkansas – Inland $1,500,000 – The Arkansas Department of Health plans to construct fixed and mobile pump-out facilities, including purchasing 10 fixed pump-out stations, 12 new pump-out boats, 12 floating restrooms, 10 plumbing docks; renovating four pump-out boats; operating and maintaining 20 pump-out boats; and assisting in marine sewage hauling. They will also continue their campaign to increase awareness, understanding and compliance with the goals of the CVA program in its state. The Arkansas Marina Sanitation Act requires all vessels with marine sanitation devices to lock them to prevent direct sewage discharge, increasing the need for operational pumpout facilities.

Georgia – Coastal $269,566 – The Georgia Department of Coastal Resources plans to construct at least six coastal pump-out projects in Chatham, Bryan, McIntosh, Camden and Glynn Counties and expand its boater education program.

Indiana – Coastal $102,530, Inland $102,530 – The Indiana Department of Environmental Management plans to construct at least one coastal pump out along Lake Michigan and one inland pump out at Kent’s Harbor along Brookville Lake, and provide operations and maintenance assistance for existing pump outs. It will also produce educational materials to raise boater awareness.

Louisiana – Coastal $50,000 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries plans to construct three new pump-out facilities along the coast in the Lake Pontchartrain area and conduct a multimedia educational campaign to inform the public about the use of boat waste disposal facilities as a means for reducing water pollution.

Michigan – Coastal $200,000 – The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will issue grants primarily for maintenance of existing pump-out facilities. It currently does not have any marinas that have requested funds for new construction, so it will focus its attention on making sure the existing marinas have operational pump outs.

Mississippi – Coastal $76,000, Inland $54,000 – The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources plans to install two coastal pump outs in Hancock, Harrison,or Jackson County, install three inland pump outs, and continue to develop and implement an education program wherein marina operators will receive appropriate signage for their pump-out stations, brochures and other media materials explaining the program and pump-out procedures.

Missouri – Inland $48,000 – The Missouri Department of Conservation plans to use the funds to construct or replace pump outs as marinas come forward with need during the year. It anticipates it can complete three projects with the funds. Marinas that receive CVA funds from MDC must include use of pump outs in their marina contracts with boaters.

Ohio – Inland $533,315 – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Watercraft plans to install one new pump-out and one floating restroom at the Cincinnati Transient Marina in Hamilton County along the Ohio River and to install one new pump-out facility at the West Harbor Marina in Ottawa County along Lake Erie. It will also continue its information and education program partnering with communities, non-profits and other states.

Oklahoma – Inland $36,513 – The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality plans to install one pump-out project at Point Carlos Marina on the Grand Lake of the Cherokees. The closest existing pump out is over five miles from there and over 90 percent of the boats that visit the marina have onboard sanitary facilities.

Texas – Coastal $240,000, Inland $270,000 – Texas Parks and Wildlife Department plans to enhance the infrastructure of its pump outs by installing seven coastal and 10 inland pump-out facilities, proving maintenance funds to keep pump outs operational and continue its boater education program to inform boaters of the issues associated with human waste and its proper disposal. It will also develop and distribute a map and educational materials, conduct CVA workshops, provide maintenance to existing pump-out facilities and develop plans for future CVA project locations

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