|The Mountain-Prairie Region|
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228
Contact: Nicholas Throckmorton, 202/208-5636
CLEAN VESSEL ACT PUMPOUT GRANT PROGRAM
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today awarded nearly $8 million to 27 states under the Clean Vessel Act Pumpout Grant program. The grant awards will fund construction of sewage dump stations and pumpout stations for recreational boaters and educational programs that inform boaters about the importance of proper waste disposal.
“The Fish and Wildlife Service is working with the U.S. Coast Guard, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, marine industry organizations, and others at the local level to educate the public in ways that will protect fish and marine habitat,” said Interior Secretary Gale Norton. “Since its inception, 49 states have participated in this program that improves the quality of our Nation's water and
conserves fish and wildlife resources."
Congress passed the Clean Vessel Act in 1992, which established a federal grant program administered by the Service, to help reduce pollution from vessel sewage discharges. Funding comes from the Sport Fish Restoration account, made up of revenues from excise taxes on fishing equipment, boats, and motorboat fuels.
The Clean Vessel Act requires that pumpout stations in coastal environments receive funding preference, although proposals for inland facilities are also eligible for funding from the program. Federal funds can constitute up to 75 percent of all approved projects, with the remaining funds provided by the States or marinas. The Service has awarded more than $90 million to States for their Clean Vessel Act programs and efforts.
Raw or poorly treated sewage can spread disease; contaminate shellfish beds and lower oxygen levels in water. Waterborne diseases including hepatitis, typhoid and cholera can be transmitted by shellfish. Organic matter in sewage is decomposed in the water by bacteria. During this process, the bacteria use oxygen. As a result, sewage in the water may deplete the water's oxygen level, causing stress to fish and other aquatic animals.
The grants complement President Bush’s commitment to empowering Americans to conserve wildlife and its habitat in their local communities and tribal areas. In the past five years, the Interior Department has dedicated more than $2 billion to cooperative conservation grant programs.
The announcement of the grants precedes the White House Conference on Cooperative Conservation in St. Louis August 29-31. President Bush called for the conference as part of his Executive Order on Cooperative Conservation signed last year. The Executive Order directs the Interior, Agriculture, Commerce and Defense departments and the Environmental Protection Agency to emphasize cooperative conservation and partnerships in their programs and land management activities. The meeting in St. Louis will include more than 1,000 leaders from federal, state, local and tribal governments, industry, and environmental organizations, as well as private landowners.
Fore more information on the grants, please see http://federalaid.fws.gov/cva/cva.html.
The 27 states will receive:
The Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance number is 15.616.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 545 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resources offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign and Native American tribal governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.
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