Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) has received a grant award from the US Fish and Wildlife Agency in the amount of $131,175. This funding will help support the Clean Vessel Act Program, which provides funding to marinas to install and maintain boat sewage pumpout stations.
DES has provided funds to 14 marinas and one town for the purpose of installing pumpout stations and contracts with a seacoast company to operate a mobile pumpout boat. This new funding will be used to reimburse marinas with pumpout stations for repairs, install new or replace old pumpout stations, and continue the mobile pumpout boat program.
Marinas statewide have access to the funds, as long as the pumpout stations are made available to the boating public, and at a reasonable fee ($5 or less at onshore pumpout stations and $10 for the mobile pumpout boat).
Pumpout stations keep harmful sewage from the state’s waters. Boat sewage is generally more concentrated than household sewage, because less water is used on boats. Human wastes can contain disease-causing organisms such as bacteria, viruses and parasites. Swimmers, water skiers and others who swallow or come in contact with water that has been contaminated with human wastes can become ill. People who eat raw or poorly cooked clams, mussels or oysters from contaminated shellfish beds also risk getting sick.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service is awarding 32 states with a total $12.26 million in Clean Vessel Act grants for 2006. The Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund provides support for the program through excise taxes paid on fishing equipment and boating fuel.
To learn more about the New Hampshire Clean Vessel Act Program, visit www.des.nh.gov. And, if you have a boat with an onboard toilet, please use pumpout stations.