U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Awards Grants to Four Midwest States
The grants support recreational boating & clean water
A total of $16.6 million in grants will be awarded to 21 states under the Clean Vessel Act (CVA) program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. More than $700,000 was awarded to four states in the Midwest Region including Illinois ($100,000), Indiana ($362,140), Michigan ($200,000) and Missouri ($50,000). CVA funding promotes and assists recreational boaters with properly disposing of on-board septic waste among recreational boaters, keeping water resources in good condition for public uses like fishing and drinking.
Since the first CVA awards were made in 1993, the service has awarded more than $200 million to states to fund construction, replacement, renovation and maintenance of facilities for properly disposing of on-board septic waste on recreational boats. The program also provides information and education about the importance, benefits and availability of pump-outs.
“Clean water is a fundamental need for both people and wildlife, and a perfect example of how the fates of both are intertwined,” said Service Director Dan Ashe. “Clean Vessel Act grants not only help ensure that clean drinking water, sustainable ecosystems and healthy recreational areas are accessible to the American people, they also provide a substantial economic benefit for local communities. These grants are another fine example of the Fish and Wildlife Service’s commitment to ensuring our natural resources are conserved and protected for future generations.”
The Midwest Region has used the Clean Vessel Act Program grant dollars to fund new pump-out equipment, and in some cases, to provide reimbursement for materials and equipment that need to be replaced overtime. Clean water is especially important in the Midwest because it includes the Great Lakes, the Upper Mississippi River waterways and a large number of inland fresh water lakes. Clean Vessel Act grant dollars work to keep everyone’s water healthy for recreation, fishing, drinking and swimming.
Funds for the CVA program are provided annually from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, which is maintained through the collection of fishing tackle manufacturer excise taxes and boat and fishing import duties, as well as motorboat and small engine fuel taxes. Funds are competitively disbursed to states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands for up to 75% of project costs, with non-federal partners providing the remaining 25%. In addition to traditional on-dock pump-outs, funded projects include pump-out boats that travel in designated harbors to make the sewage collection process more efficient and convenient. Some states also install floating restrooms in areas where boaters congregate and no restrooms are available.