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