Several local boating facilities are included in just over $1 million in grants awarded for installing or upgrading pumpout facilities.
The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection allocated the money under the Clean Vessel Act. DEEP’s Office of Long Island Sound Programs awards the grants annually, usually to marinas, non-profit organizations, and municipalities to support efforts to improve water quality.
With the approval of the Environmental Protection Agency, Connecticut designated its waters of Long Island Sound a No Discharge Area in 2007; New York did the same in 2011. The designation forbids boaters from discharging treated or untreated sewage into the sound.
Pumpout facilities on the shoreline allow the safe disposal of this waste. The state began the Clean Vessel Act Program in 1993, requiring vessels to use onboard storage tanks to contain sewage and dispose of it at pumpout facilities.
“The Clean Vessel Act Grant Program is a valuable partnership between the DEEP and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that provides funds for pumpout facilities that help us to preserve and protect water quality in Long Island Sound,” DEEP Commissioner Daniel C. Esty said in a statement. “As a result of this program there is wide spread and easy access to pumpout services on Long Island Sound, which enabled the U.S. EPA to designate all waters of Sound—both in New York and Connecticut—as a No Discharge Zone.”
The department is giving out 39 grants totaling $1,020,821.13. Five recipients will build new or replacement pumpout stations, and one will go toward purchasing an additional pumpout vessel for Bridgeport Harbor. Up to 75 percent of the project’s cost may be reimbursed under the program.
Alberto Ortiz, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region Clean Vessel Act coordinator, said funding for the grant program comes from the Sport Fishing and Boating Trust fund. This fund is supported by excise taxes on some fishing and boating equipment and fuels.
Sites in the region receiving funding include:
- of New London, $29,791.88 for a new replacement and pump upgrade as well as operation and maintenance of an existing pumpout station
- Coastal Environmental Services of New London and Mystic, $235,962.25 for the operation and maintenance of four pumpout vessels
- Noank Village Boatyard in Groton, $25,860 for for a new replacement and pump upgrade as well as operation and maintenance of a stationary pumpout station
- The city of Groton, $17,625 for operation and maintenance of a stationary pumpout station
- Shennecossett Yacht Club in Groton, $1,747.50 for operation and maintenance of a stationary pumpout station with vacuum system
- Mystic Shipyard East in Mystic, $8,700 for a new replacement and pump upgrade and $2,850 for operation and maintenance of a stationary pumpout station
- Mystic River Marina in Mystic, $4,312.50 for operation and maintenance of a stationary pumpout station and central vacuum system
- Mystic Shipyard in Mystic, $3,675 for operation and maintenance of a stationary pumpout station
- Mystic River Properties in Mystic, $3,637 for operation and maintenance of a stationary pumpout station
- The town of Stonington, $1,620 for operation and maintenance of a pumpout vessel offloading station
- Port Niantic Inc. in Niantic, $1,875 for operation and maintenance of a stationary pumpout station
- DEEP Marine Headquarters in Old Lyme, $22,815 for operation and maintenance of a stationary facility
- The town of Westerly, R.I., $49,687.50 for operation and maintenance of two pumpout vessels serving Westerly and Stonington
- Save The River/Save The Hills of Waterford, $21,893.25 for operation and maintenance of a pumpout vessel