DEEP to spend $1.1 million in vessel grants

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) recently announced that it is set to spend more than $1.1 million in Annual Clean Vessel Act grants for the construction or improvement of 36 marine sewage disposal facilities for the 2014 boating season including in Greenwich and Cos Cob.

In an effort to improve water quality in navigable waterways this program, which is managed through the DEEP’s Office of Long Island Sound Programs, provides federally funded matching grants for projects that provide boat sewage disposal facilities, more commonly known as pumpouts under DEEP’s annual Federal Clean Vessel Act (CVA) program.

Three of the 36 grant recipients will receive funding for the construction of new or replacement pumpouts and two new pumpout vessels will be purchased to improve sewage removal services in Bridgeport Harbor and Stamford Harbor. The remaining projects fund operation and maintenance of land-based pumpouts and mobile pumpout boats.

“The Clean Vessel Act Grant Program is a valuable partnership between the DEEP and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service that provides funds for pumpout facilities that help us to preserve and protect water quality in Long Island Sound,” said DEEP Commissioner Daniel C. Esty. “These grants provide the needed matching funds so that local marine businesses, municipalities and non-profit organizations can afford to participate in this important effort.”

Up to 75% of the cost of an approved project may be reimbursed under the program, the purpose of which is to improve water quality by increasing the availability of proper waste handling facilities for boaters which will reduce the discharge of poorly treated or untreated sanitary wastes into Long Island Sound and its harbors.

The CVA program has awarded more than $11 million in grants since 1993 to fund more than 560 projects, providing grants to small marine business owners, municipalities and nonprofit organizations. As a result of the success of this program, sufficient facilities exist so that both the Connecticut and New York side of Long Island Sound have been designated as a No-Discharge Area with U.S. EPA approval.

“Funding for the Clean Vessel Act program comes from the Sport Fishing and Boating Trust Fund, formerly known as the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund, which is supported by excise taxes on certain fishing and boating equipment and boat fuels,” said Alberto Ortiz, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service northeast region CVA coordinator. “The CVA Grant Program helps keep our coastal and inland waters clean and safe for recreation by safely disposing of millions of gallons of boaters’ sewage annually. The Connecticut CVA program received the highest federal grant award this year and is a good example to many other states and has been the recipient of numerous awards for its excellence. We are happy to see so many grants being awarded this year in Connecticut.”

For more information about this program, visit ct.gov/deep/cva or contact Kate Hughes Brown, grants and outreach coordinator, at 860-424-3652 or by email at [email protected]

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