Jun 10, 2009

Department of Interior Announces Boating Grants

Grants to 28 states will help keep waterways clean

Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar recently announced that $14.6 million will be awarded to 28 states under the Clean Vessel Act grant program in 2009. The grants will be used to fund the construction and installation of sewage pumpout facilities and floating restrooms, to purchase pumpout boats and provide educational programs for recreational boaters.

“Clean Vessel Act funds support construction of facilities in communities that depend on recreational boating for their economy, and depend on clean water for their health,” said Salazar. “These grants provide immediate funding for construction of infrastructure that will provide lasting value for recreational boaters, and everyone who relies on clean waters.”

Since the program’s inception in the early 1990s, the program—administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service—has awarded more than $163 million to states to install thousands of sewage pumpout stations. In addition, many states now rely upon mobile sewage pumpout boats to make the sewage collection process more efficient and convenient. A number of states also have begun installing floating restrooms and pumpout stations in high use areas of lakes and coastal waters.

Funding for the CVA program comes from the Sport Fishing and Boating Trust Fund, formerly known as the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund, which is supported by excise taxes levied on certain fishing and boating equipment and boat fuels.

"These Clean Vessel Act grants will help the states maintain clean and healthy waters for people and wildlife," said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Acting Director Rowan Gould. "Sewage pumpouts may not be the most glamorous conservation tool, but their presence can have an immediate and clear impact on the well-being of aquatic resources and recreational waterways that provide drinking water to millions of Americans."

Specific information on the grants is available here.