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People enjoying a boat. Photo by Greg Workman, FWC.

Service awards more than $16 million to support clean waters and recreational boating through clean vessel act grants

Southeast region gets nearly $3.7 million

America’s waterways provide critical wildlife habitat, drinking water for Americans across the country, and recreational opportunities to millions. To advance both purposes, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today more than $16.2 million in funding to 27 states under the Clean Vessel Act (CVA) grant program.

In the Southeast Region, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee will benefit from coastal and inland projects with $3,689,478 in grant funding.

CVA provides grant funds for the construction, replacement, renovation and maintenance of facilities that assist recreational boaters in properly disposing of on-board septic waste. The program also provides information and education about the benefits of pumpout systems.

“The Clean Vessel Act is critical in helping states maintain clean and healthy waters,” said Service Deputy Director Steve Guertin, who announced the grants at the American Boating Congress annual meeting in Washington, D.C. “Systems built through these funds ensure that clean drinking water, sustainable ecosystems, and healthy recreational areas will be accessible to the American public and wildlife.”

Since the first CVA grants were distributed in 1993, the Service has awarded more than $246 million to states. Funds for the CVA program are provided annually from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust fund administered by the Service’s Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program. 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 success 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.

“As the beneficiaries of the programs and equipment fund by these Clean Vessel Act grants, boaters have a deep appreciation of this announcement,” said Margaret B. Podlich, President of BoatU.S. “These grants, supported by boaters’ tax dollars, have a direct impact on keeping our waterways clean and making boating better. Along with their state agency partners, we applaud the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for their commitment to the program and look forward to its renewal as part of the reauthorization of the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund.”

In addition to traditional on-dock pump outs, projects include pumpout boats that travel within 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.

“CVA provides environmental benefits, but the program also has a substantial positive economic impact on local communities through job creation,” said WSFR Assistant Director Hannibal Bolton. “This is a win-win situation for conservation and businesses across America.”

For a detailed list of 2015 CVA project award summaries visit

For more information on the CVA program visit


Coastal $159,304, Inland $57,186 - The Alabama Department of Environmental Management plans to install six new coastal and four new inland pumpouts. They will continue their ongoing CVA information and education program through distribution of written and electronic materials as well as participation in workshops and boat shows.


Inland $1,046,053 – The Arkansas Department of Health plans to purchase nine pumpout boats, 20 fixed pumpout stations, and two multi-purpose marine sewage dump stations, which have port-a-potty dump facilities.  They will also continue their campaign to increase awareness, understanding, and compliance with the goals of the CVA program in their State.


Coastal $1,491,220, Inland $797,840 – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection plans to construct/replace 32 coastal and 15 inland pumpout stations for Florida boaters.  They will continue to expand their ongoing CVA boater education program that includes internet postings, outreach events, brochures, radio and television public service announcements, and a database monitoring program.


Inland $55,028 – The Georgia Department of Natural Resources plans to fund three inland pumpout projects at Lake Allatoona and Clarks Hill Lake.  They will also continue their ongoing CVA boater education program.


Inland $71,868 – The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources plans to construct two new marine sewage pumpout stations at the Owensboro Transient Boat Dock and provide maintenance across Kentucky to existing pumpouts. 

North Carolina

Coastal $116,001, Inland $47,388 – The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources Division of Coastal Management and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission plans to maintain an established grant program for the installation and renovation of 11 pumpout/dump stations in the State’s inland and coastal waters.  In addition, they will update the geolocation of marinas with pumpouts, identify target areas for development, and refine the prioritization process for placing pumpout stations.  They will also continue to manage their marine sewage public education and information plan.

South Carolina

Coastal $948,671, Inland $360,361 – The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources is planning on renovating 28 stationary units and 11 mobile units, purchasing 10 boat-mounted pumpout units, installing two floating restrooms, and providing operations and maintenance funding for 29 pumpout boats in both coastal and inland waters.  They will also continue to fund their education program that informs recreational boaters about the importance of using pumpout stations as well as their availability.


Inland $760,179 – The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has plans to construct 20 stationary, portable, and multiple-station pumpout facilities, renovate three existing systems, and administer the pumpout grant program.  They will also continue to build on the existing education program by promoting positive and informative handouts and providing other programs to educate and motivate the public about the benefits of using pumpouts.


Christina Meister, USFWS
(703) 358-2284

Phil Kloer, USFWS

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information on our work and the people who can make it happen, visit Connect with the Service on Facebook, follow our tweets, watch the YouTube Channel and download photos from Flickr.

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