Clean Vessel Act Pumpout Grant Program Awards Announced
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 27, 2004
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today awarded nearly $11 million to 23 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.
Interior Secretary Gale Norton stated, "The Fish and Wildlife Service, in conjunction with the U.S. Coast Guard, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency, marine industry organizations, and others at the local level, are assisting with outreach to best educate the public in ways that will protect fish and marine habitat. All of the partners involved are providing the best resources and tools to continue this successful program."
"The Clean Vessel Act Pumpout Program exemplifies one of the many partnerships the Service has with the States," said Service Director Steve Williams. "Since its inception, forty-nine states have participated in this program to improve the quality of our Nation's water and conserve fish and wildlife resources."
The 23 states will use the grant money in the following ways:
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.
Fore more information, please see http://federalaid.fws.gov/cva/cva.html.
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 544 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 governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid 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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Atlanta, GA 30345