Tag Archives: Clean Vessel Act

Get hooked on your next adventure

There’s nothing quite like the thrill of reeling one in. Sun-shining, cool breeze on your face, the excitement of feeling the line tug, and the delicate art of reeling in your prize.

Whether it’s trout or bass, or if you’re like me, a teeny tiny sunfish (if you’re lucky), fishing is more than just a pastime. It’s spending quality time with family and friends, getting away from our ever present devices, and connecting with nature.

Whether you’re a rookie or a coach, you need a spot to cast your line, a dock to stand on or a boat to launch.

Or maybe fishing isn’t your thing, and you’d rather enjoy your local pond, lake, or saltwater via kayak, canoe, motorboat, or even a sailboat or yacht.

It’s National Fish and Boating week, seven days filled with free fishing days – where you can fish without a license – kid’s fishing derbies, and how-to demonstrations.

Perhaps you’re new to it all and just wondering where to get started. Fortunately, finding a spot to do so will be the least of your worries.

Across the region, public access to recreational boating and fishing is increasing. Thanks to efforts by the Service, state wildlife agencies and other partners, more boat ramps, fishing platforms, trails, and other outdoor recreation opportunities are cropping up.

There are over 1,600 boat ramps throughout the northeast region and each year, between 5 and 10 new boating and fishing access areas are constructed. These projects are funded and maintained through Wildlife and Sportfish Restoration Program, the granting arm of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

 

Though grants like the Sportfish Restoration Act, Clean Vessel Act, and the Boating Infrastructure Program might sound technical, but they are important tools that allow state agencies to provide fishing and boating access to the public.

So where does the money come from?

The program is funded by fishing manufacturers, along with boaters, and sportsmen and women, through taxes on the sale of fishing tackle and boat fuels.

However, its benefits reach far beyond the the boating and fishing communities.

In its 75 year partnership with state and local agencies, this program has contributed more than $14 billion for fish and wildlife conservation and public access to the lands and waters that support fish and wildlife, making it the most successful conservation program in U.S. history.

And it doesn’t end there. In addition to fishing and boating access, Sport Fish Restoration funds are used to conduct fish research, reintroduce declining sport fish species, restore wildlife habitat, and provide education about aquatic resources.

If this all sounds awesome, but you’re still wondering where and how to get started, you’re reading this at just the right time. Visit us at https://www.fws.gov/fishing/ for everything you need to know before you start your adventure.

“User pay – public benefit” funding supports boating and clean water in Connecticut

The Service recently awarded $16.6 million to support recreational boating and clean waters in 21 states. States receive this funding under the Clean Vessel Act to support the construction, maintenance and renovation of sewage disposal facilities – or pumpout stations – for recreational boaters. We had an opportunity recently to talk with Kate Hughes Brown, the state of Connecticut’s CVA and Boating Infrastructure Grants coordinator, about the state’s decision to take the CVA program a step further on Long Island Sound.

Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection received $1.5 million from the CVA program this year, and $16 million to date. This “user pay, public benefit” funding returns revenue from taxes on boats, engines, motorboat fuel, and fishing equipment by investing it back into resources for boaters.

The state is taking their commitment to recreational boaters and clean water a step further. It recently announced that all recreational pumpout stations in Connecticut now offer free service to boaters. It is the first state to make these services fee-free, and boaters, anglers and outdoor enthusiasts are praising the decision.

Demonstrating boat pump out

Photo courtesy of Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

Kate Hughes Brown says the state wants to “provide the best possible service for boaters by eliminating one more obstacle to having clean and healthy waters for people and for wildlife.”

Big Al on Thames #3

Photo courtesy of Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

Since 1993 the Connecticut DEEP has worked with the Service, marinas, yacht clubs, boatyards, municipalities and non-profit organizations to install 141 pumpout stations and complete more than 525 projects in the state. The CVA funding helps small marine business owners and other local entities serve boaters, and ultimately protect the waters of Long Island Sound.

“This is now part of doing business in Connecticut”, says Brown. “We have people who are dedicated to boating, fishing and swimming in clean water and preserving the marine environment for future generations. Business owners are providing cost share matches to help fund the individual projects.  In this way, they show that they are committed to providing improvements over time, and maintenance of these facilities for a continued successful program.”

Beacon Point Marina 4

Photo courtesy of Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

Brown says to check out the state’s new interactive map, making it easy to locate all pumpout stations in Connecticut.

 

A boat sits in the water moored to a dock

Incentives in Connecticut to keep water clean

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.