U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service acting Director Rowan Gould recently announced $12.8 million will be awarded to 31 states under the Clean Vessel Act grant program in 2010. The grants will be used to fund the construction and installation of sewage pump-out facilities and floating restrooms, to purchase pump-out boats and to provide educational programs for recreational boaters, as they have been since the program’s inception in the early 1990s.
"Clean Vessel Act funding supports the construction of facilities in communities that depend largely on recreational boating for their economy — and depend on clean water for their health and the health of their environment," Gould said. "In a time of economic uncertainty, these grants also provide an immediate investment in construction jobs and infrastructure that provide lasting value for recreational boaters, state agencies, and local communities."
To date, the program — administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service — has awarded more than $172 million to states to install thousands of sewage pump-out stations. In addition, many states now rely upon mobile sewage pump-out boats to make the sewage collection process more efficient and convenient for boaters. A number of states also have begun installing floating restrooms and pump-out stations in high-use areas of lakes and coastal waters.
Funding for the CVA program comes from the Sport Fishing and Boating Trust Fund, formerly known as the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund, which is supported by excise taxes levied on certain fishing and boating equipment and boat fuels.
Georgia received $71,388, which the Georgia Department of Natural Resources will use to buy one sewage pump-out boat for use at Port Royale Marina on Lake Lanier.