Skip to main content

Clean Vessel Act Grant

boats in a marina

Clean Vessel Act grants provide funding to marinas for the construction, renovation, operation or maintenance costs of their pumpout stations for recreational boaters.

Approved projects are given funding for up to 75 percent of the total cost of the project. The remaining funds must come from the grant recipient.

Who is eligible for the grant funding?

Any public or private marina, boatyard, shipyard, or state, county or municipal organization wishing to install OR significantly upgrade their pumpout station and make it available to all boaters.

What projects are eligible?

  • Construction, renovation, operation, or maintenance of pumpout stations, pumpout boats, and dump stations used by boaters.
  • Projects that hold and transport boater sewage to sewage treatment plants, such as holding tanks, piping, or hauling and disposal fees.

How do I apply?

The Fish & Wildlife Department administers the Clean Vessel Act program in Vermont. All applicants must call the department at (802) 828-1000 prior to starting an application to ensure project eligibility and obtain the most up-to-date information on funding and the application process.

You can also email Mike Wichrowski for more information about the application process.

When should I apply?

Applications can be submitted at any time. However, the application deadline is August 15 or the following Monday if the 15th is a Saturday or Sunday. At this time all applications submitted throughout the year are reviewed, scored, and submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, typically by the end of the calendar year.

How are funds awarded?

Approved projects are given funding for up to 75 percent of the total cost of the project. The remaining funds must come from the grant recipient.

All funds are awarded to the Fish & Wildlife Department as the administering entity for the Clean Vessel Act program in Vermont. Applicants will be notified if their project was not selected at the Vermont level, to go to the Federal level for review.

The department is generally notified by January of each year of grant awards and will in turn notify remaining applicants of their status.

Where do funds come from?

The Clean Vessel Act Grant program is funded through the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act, which is administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The funds come from a federal excise tax on fishing equipment, trolling motors, import duties on boats, and motorboat fuels.

What type of system should I install?

There are several different systems and the department recommends contacting a pumpout vendor to find out which pumpout is best for your business.

How much can I charge for pumpouts?

Under the Clean Vessel Act program, marinas are only allowed to charge $5 or less per pump if they receive Clean Vessel Act funds. Free pumpouts are strongly encouraged.

Many marinas allow for free pumpouts with the fill-up of fuel or purchase of other services provided by the marina. Marinas can request to be reimbursed for 75 percent of their disposal fees in lieu of charging boaters for pumping fees. More information on reimbursements can be obtained by contacting the department.

How does the Clean Vessel Act benefit my marina business?

  • State and federal law prohibits boats from discharging treated or untreated sewage into public waters. Therefore, boaters must dispose of their waste at a marina. Marinas with these facilities offer superior service and greater convenience to boaters than marinas without pumpout facilities.
  • Water quality of the lake and the area surrounding a given marina can become seriously degraded by the disposal of raw sewage. Having a pumpout station leads to cleaner water and a more attractive marina.
  • Federal funds from the Clean Vessel Act can help a marina cover up to 75 percent of their costs when building or upgrading a pumpout facility, including service docks, pumpout equipment, holding tanks, hoses, permitting and engineering, etc.

See also: