Incentives in Connecticut to keep water clean

A boat sits in the water moored to a dock

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently awarded this year’s grants to states under the Clean Vessel Act. Today we hear from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) on how they propose to use $1.5 million–the highest grant amount awarded. The Connecticut Clean Vessel Act program serves as a good example to other states and has been the recipient of many awards for its excellence.

A boat sits in the water moored to a dock

A Connecticut pumpout boat.

With the grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, DEEP in turn runs a grant program available to owners and operators of public or private marine facilities in Connecticut who wish to install or improve marine sewage disposal facilities.

Congress passed the Clean Vessel Act (CVA) in 1992 after finding too few onshore sewage disposal facilities in waters used by recreational boats and determining that these vessels may degrade water quality. The primary goal of the CVA is to reduce overboard sewage discharge from recreational boats. It provides funds to states for construction, renovation, operation and maintenance of pumpout stations for holding tanks and dump stations for portable toilets. Connecticut has an active program to use these federal funds to facilitate low-cost, convenient pumpouts and dump stations.

Since 1993, more than $12 million in Clean Vessel Act grants have funded more than 525 projects for Connecticut marinas, yacht clubs, boat yards, municipalities and non-profit organizations.  Ninety-seven land-based pumpout facilities, 21 dump stations, 18 pumpout vessels and three pumpout vessels associated with marinas, for a total of 139 pumpouts, have been funded to remove sewage from recreational boats.

“The continued success of pumpout programs for boaters significantly improves the water quality of Long Island Sound, increasing the quality of swimming, fishing and other recreational opportunities in Connecticut,” said DEEP Commissioner Daniel C. Esty.  “This latest round of grant funding will allow us to continue and expand those programs – as well as provide financial assistance to municipalities, small marine businesses and non-profit organizations along our shoreline.”

The waters of Long Island Sound in Connecticut and New York have been designated by the EPA as a federally approved no-discharge area. DEEP hopes to continue funding facilities to further improve water quality in these areas and expand the program to other boating destinations in Connecticut, including rivers and lakes in inland areas.

Proposals for the 2013 Connecticut grant program must be received by 4:30 P.M. on Tuesday, July 30, 2013 and should be submitted to DEEP, Office of Long Island Sound Programs, 79 Elm Street, Hartford, CT 06106-5127.

For a copy of the Request for Proposals, visit the DEEP web page  and select “Grant Program Information” or contact Kate Hughes Brown, Grants and Outreach Coordinator, at (860) 424-3652 or by email at kate.brown@ct.gov.

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