U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

NEWS RELEASE


U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE
134 UNION BOULEVARD
LAKEWOOD, COLORADO 80228

February 15, 1996

Michael Smith 303-236-7905
Robert Pacific 703-358-1845
Patricia Fisher 202-208-5634

FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE LAUNCHES EDUCATIONAL CAMPAIGN TO HELP KEEP WATERWAYS CLEAN

Announces 1996 Grants Under Clean Vessel Act

Miami, FL--As part of a major effort to clean up the Nation's waterways, Acting U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director John Rogers today announced a series of grants to state conservation agencies to encourage recreational boaters to bring boat sewage to shore. Under provisions of the Clean Vessel Act (CVA), the Service is awarding $9.4 million in grants to 33 states for projects nationwide to provide pumpout and dump stations for boaters to dispose of waste in an environmentally safe manner.

"Today we are joining with the states and with the boating and sportfishing community in a national campaign to make America's waters sewage free," Rogers said. "With these grants, we are making it easier for boaters to find and use pumpout stations."

Recreational boating is a multi-billion-dollar business. Last year, some 77 million boaters who owned more than 16 million boats plied the waters of the United States according to the latest statistics gathered by the National Marine Manufacturers Association, a partner in this endeavor.

"The immensity of this human-caused pollution is staggering when you consider that no navigable body of water is exempt," Rogers continued. "Enough pumpout stations are now in place to really attack this problem and we think the boating public will respond positively."

Addressing a Serious Pollution Problem

When simply dumped overboard, boat sewage poses a serious threat to the health of this country's oceans, rivers, and lakes. The bacteria found in this sewage not only pollute water but also contaminate shellfish and deplete the water's oxygen levels, causing stress to fish and other aquatic animals. A 1995 study of boat sewage on San Francisco Bay conducted by the California Regional Water Quality Control Board concluded that one person discharging raw sewage into the bay has the same effect as 10,000 or more people whose waste is processed through a sewage plant before discharge.

"Since the act was passed in 1992, pumpout facilities have increased from about 1,000 to 2,500," Robert Pacific, the Service's Clean Vessel Act Administrator, said. "The authors of this legislation recognized that boaters would use accessible and affordable pumpout facilities rather than dump boat sewage overboard."

Cooperative Efforts Aim to Increase Involvement

Pacific also said the Service is working closely with boating and fishing groups to get the boating public involved in using pumpout stations. For example, the Service and the American Sportfishing Association's Sportfishing Promotion Council have established a toll-free telephone number (1-800-ASK-FISH) that boaters anywhere in the country can call to find out the location of pumpout facilities. Another partner, Boat/U.S. Clean Water Trust, has produced numerous educational materials as well as a sourcebook to help disseminate Clean Vessel Act information. SOBA, the States Organization of Boating Access, has sponsored Clean Vessel Act workshops for states. Pumpout manufacturers are directly participating in the program and have agreed to display the new internationally recognized pumpout logo on their equipment and to include educational information packages with that equipment. Public Awareness Campaign Begins

The Service has produced a multi-media public service campaign designed to heighten awareness of the severity of the pollution problem and to urge boaters to bring sewage to shore. A video public service announcement produced in cooperation with the Marine Retailers Association of America will begin airing in late February, a radio PSA is in production, and print PSAs will appear in boating and fishing magazines this spring. Fact sheets, posters, stickers, and brochures all telling the story of the Clean Vessel Act are now available for public dissemination.

Federal partners include the U.S. Coast Guard, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Each agency helps the Service review grant requests and offers advice on the development of educational materials.

The funding for the Clean Vessel Act comes from the Sport Fish Restoration Account of the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund, commonly known as the Wallop-Breaux Fund. Monies in that fund result from a 10-percent excise tax on fishing equipment and a 3- percent tax on electric trolling motors and sonar fish finders, a portion of the Federal fuels tax, and import duties on fishing tackle and pleasure boats. The Clean Vessel Act Pumpout Grant program makes matching grants available through a competitive process to all states, which match these funds at a ratio of 3:1 (Federal:state). To date, CVA grants total nearly $30 million.

Clean Vessel Act Projects Funded in 1996

The projects selected for 1996 involve requests for construction of 938 pumpout stations and 470 dump stations in 33 states, aquatic education programs in 30 states, and miscellaneous projects such as upgrading waste management facilities to accept marine sewage as well as operation and maintenance of pumpout and dump stations.

The following projects will be funded this year:

ALABAMA ($130,000) The Alabama Department of Environmental Management asked to build 24 pumpout stations and 6 dump stations and implement an education program.

ARKANSAS ($48,000) The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission asked to build four pumpout stations and implement an education program.

AMERICAN SAMOA ($50,000) The American Samoa Office of Marine and Wildlife Resources asked to build one pumpout station and implement an education program.

CALIFORNIA ($458,000) The California Department of Boating and Waterways asked to build 28 pumpout stations and 3 dump stations and implement an education program.

COLORADO ($50,000) The Colorado Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation asked to build one pumpout station and one dump station.

CONNECTICUT ($594,000) The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection asked to build 29 pumpout stations and implement an education program.

FLORIDA ($676,000) The Florida Department of Environmental Protection asked to build 86 pumpout stations and implement an education program.

GEORGIA ($118,000) The Coastal Resources Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources asked to build three pumpout stations and five dump stations and implement an education program.

IDAHO ($50,000) The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation asked to build three pumpout stations and one dump station and implement an education program.

ILLINOIS ($57,000) The Illinois Department of Conservation asked to build 21 pumpout stations and 2 dump stations and implement an education program.

INDIANA ($152,000) The Indiana Department of Environmental Management asked to build 22 pumpout stations and implement an education program.

KENTUCKY ($17,000) The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources asked to build two pumpout stations and implement an education program.

LOUISIANA ($256,000) The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries asked to build 26 pumpout stations and implement an education program.

MAINE ($166,000) The State of Maine asked to build 16 pumpout stations and implement an education program.

MARYLAND ($940,000) The Maryland Department of Natural Resources asked to build 75 pumpout stations and implement an education program.

MASSACHUSETTS ($990,000) The Massachusetts Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Environmental Law Enforcement asked to build 59 pumpout stations and 3 dump stations and implement an education program.

MICHIGAN ($108,000) The Michigan Department of Natural Resources asked to build 50 dump stations and implement an education program.

MINNESOTA ($50,000) The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources asked to build 10 pumpout stations and 10 dump stations and implement an education program.

MISSISSIPPI ($55,000) The Bureau of Marine Resources of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks asked to build 10 pumpout stations and implement an education program.

MISSOURI ($32,000) The State of Missouri asked to build four pumpout stations and implement an education program.

NEVADA ($12,000) The State of Nevada asked to build two pumpout stations.

NEW JERSEY ($940,000) The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and Energy asked to build 64 pumpout stations and 256 dump stations and implement an education program.

NEW YORK ($980,000) The New York Department of Environmental Conservation asked to build 178 pumpout stations and implement an education program.

NORTH CAROLINA ($51,000) The State of North Carolina asked to build 15 pumpout stations and implement an education program.

OKLAHOMA ($29,000) The State of Oklahoma asked to build two pumpout stations.

OREGON ($295,000) The Oregon Marine Board asked to build 10 pumpout stations and 7 dump stations and implement an education program.

PENNSYLVANIA ($33,000) The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission asked to build one pumpout station and implement an education program.

PUERTO RICO ($114,000) The Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources asked to build 10 pumpout stations and implement an education program.

SOUTH CAROLINA ($248,000) The South Carolina Coastal Council asked to build 29 pumpout stations and implement an education program.

TENNESSEE ($98,000) The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency asked to build 90 pumpout stations and 48 dump stations and implement an education program.

VIRGINIA ($814,000) The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries asked to build 75 pumpout stations and 75 dump stations and implement an education program.

WASHINGTON ($669,000) The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission asked to build 29 pumpout stations and 3 dump stations and implement an education program.

WISCONSIN ($70,000) The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources asked to build 10 pumpout stations and implement an education program.


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