Feds hand out boating grants to 21 states

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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Tuesday that $16.6 million in boating grants will be awarded to 21 states under the Clean Vessel Act program.

In addition to traditional on-dock pumpouts, funded projects include pumpout 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.

“Clean water is a fundamental need for both people and wildlife, and a perfect example of how the fates of both are intertwined,” Fish and Wildlife Service director Dan Ashe said in a statement.

“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.”

Funds for the 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.

“As one of the many programs supported by the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, CVA-funded pumpouts help boaters fulfill our commitment to clean water. After all, our 520,000 BoatUS members are not only on the water, their families often swim in it and eat fish from it. Most importantly, widely available, accessible and working pumpout facilities make it easier to deal with a basic need and get back to enjoying time on the water,” BoatUS President Margaret Bonds Podlich said.

The states that will receive grants are:

• Alabama — coastal, $205,151; inland, $82,801

• Arizona — inland, $160,000

• Arkansas — inland, $1,391,793

• California — coastal, $915,000; inland, $1,462,000

• Connecticut — coastal, $1,500,000; inland, $145,643

• Florida — coastal, $1,410,651; inland $770,126

• Georgia — inland, $113,886

• Illinois — inland, $100,000

• Indiana — coastal, $104,518; inland $257,518

• Kentucky — inland $161,250

• Massachusetts — coastal, $1,049,875

• Michigan — coastal, $200,000

• Missouri — inland, $50,000

• New Hampshire — coastal, $78,596; inland $38,347

• New Jersey — coastal, $258,750

• New York — coastal, $917,375; inland $1,153,875

• Oklahoma — inland, $304,904

• South Carolina — coastal, $757,264; inland, $382,500

• Texas — coastal, $240,000; inland $225,000

• Virginia — coastal, $557,991; inland, $94,500

• Washington — coastal, $1,500,000

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