The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management awarded $235,726 in grants for new or upgraded marine pump-out facilities.
The amount includes $183,985 for new pump-out facilities and $51,741 for repairs or maintenance to operating systems. Funding for the projects was provided to DEM through the federal Clean Vessel Act pump-out grant program, administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Each grant requires a 25 percent match.
These grant projects will add three pump-out boats and four stationary pump-out locations to the 11 pump-out boats and 43 shoreside facilities already available to boaters in Rhode Island waters. An estimated 54,000 boats use Rhode Island waters each year, including the state's more than 44,000 registered boats.
Boaters have been prohibited from discharging sewage into Rhode Island waters since 1998, when Rhode Island received its statewide "no discharge" designation from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
To date, DEM awarded more than $1 million in Clean Vessel Act funds for pump-out facilities to make it convenient for boaters to properly dispose of boat sewage.