Money available for marine pumpout programs to protect Long Island Sound

File photo of Long Island Sound

(WTNH) — There is money available for marine pumpout programs to protect the waters of the Long Island Sound.

Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Monday announced that applications are now being accepted for the 2018 boating season for boat sewage disposal facilities on Long Island Sound and Candlewood Lake.  Funding for this year is pending authorization by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.  The program is administered by DEEP with a grant from the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Clean Vessel Act (CVA) program.  All recreational pumpout facilities in Connecticut offer free service to boaters.

DEEP is seeking grant proposals from owners and operators of public or private marine facilities that wish to install a new marine sewage disposal facility (MSDF); facilities with existing MSDFs in need of substantial repairs or upgrades; and from those seeking funding to operate new or existing MSDFs, including pumpout boats and central vacuum pumpout systems which are incorporated within the marina or boatyard dock system.

Grant proposals must be received by 4:00 pm. Wednesday, August 9, 2017 to be considered eligible for this round of grant funding.

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

Up to 75 percent of the cost of an approved project may be reimbursed under the program, whose purpose is to increase the availability of proper waste handling facilities for boaters.  The Clean Vessel Act program serves to reduce the discharge of poorly treated or untreated sanitary waste into the waters of Long Island Sound and its harbors and Candlewood Lake, thereby improving local water quality.

Since 1993, DEEP in partnership with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, has awarded more than $15 million in grants to Connecticut small businesses, municipalities and non-profit organizations to fund projects at marinas, yacht clubs, boat yards, municipalities, and non-profit organizations. Projects have included more than 98 land-based pumpout facilities, 21 dump stations, and 24 pumpout vessels to accommodate the removal of recreational boat sewage.

Funding for the Clean Vessel Act (CVA) program, comes from the Sport Fishing and Boating Trust Fund, which is supported by excise taxes on certain fishing and boating equipment and boat fuels.  The CVA grant program helps keep waters clean and safe for recreation by safely disposing of millions of gallons of boaters’ sewage annually. The Connecticut CVA program and its partners removed nearly 1.3 million gallons of recreational boat sewage from Long Island Sound and Candlewood Lake in 2016.

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