BALTIMORE – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today announced that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has awarded a grant in the amount of $900,450 to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) under the Clean Vessel Act (CVA) grant program. The grant will fund Maryland DNR’s plans to install 10 new pumpout stations, replace or upgrade 30 pumpout stations, and purchase one new pumpout vessel.
“The Chesapeake Bay is a national treasure, central to our identity as a state, and our regional economy. As Marylanders up and down the Bay prepare to take to the water for work and play this summer, it is important that DNR has the infrastructure in place to prevent sewage spills and runoff,” said Senator Cardin, a senior Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “Maryland DNR is on the front lines of environmental and resource protection in our state. It deserves a strong federal partner that shares its commitment to a clean and healthy Chesapeake Bay.”
“The Chesapeake Bay is a national treasure and Maryland’s greatest natural resource. Maryland boaters work hard to keep sewage spills out of the Bay, but they can’t do this with crumbling infrastructure,” Senator Mikulski said. “This funding will help the Maryland Department of Natural Resources make sure that our water stays free of sewage, and will help protect and preserve the Bay for future generations.”
The Department of Natural Resources will also provide operations and maintenance funding to 120 marinas, as well as for four pumpout boats. The State also proposes to provide accurate and up-to-date pumpout related information to Maryland’s boaters through the State’s education and outreach efforts.
Maryland law requires any marina with 50 or more slips, as well as any new or expanding marina, to have a pumpout station. The award will enable the State to continue funding pump outs at marinas as well as providing grants for operations and maintenance. Boaters are reminded that it is illegal to discharge raw sewage anywhere in Maryland waters.
The CVA provides grant funds for the construction, replacement, renovation and maintenance of facilities that assist recreational boaters in properly disposing of on-board septic waste. The program also provides information and education about the benefits of pumpout systems.