Maryland marinas can now apply forPumpout Operations and Maintenance grantsthrough theMaryland Department of Natural Resources.

These grants reimburse marinas for the expense of operating and maintaining pumpout stations.Applicationsdue April 15.

State and federal laws prohibit the discharge of raw sewage from boats, so reliablepumpout stationsat marinas are essential for the thousands of boats traversing Maryland waters.

“Maryland was the first state to offer grants to ensure that pumpout stations are well dispersed and maintained across the state,” Center for Marine and Coastal Stewardship Program Manager Donna Morrow said. “These stations provide a needed service to our state’s boating community and supports our broader efforts to maintain the health of Chesapeake Bay.”

In 2017, marinas participating in this program removed about 586,000 gallons of waste from recreational boats for proper disposal ashore. Participating marinasmust agree to serve the general boating public during reasonable business hours; can generally charge no more than $5 per pumpout;andmust deduct any pumpout charges from expenses before seeking reimbursement from the department.

State law requires marinas with more than 50 slips, as well as any new or expanding marina, to have a pumpout station. Grant applications for new installations or replacements, in addition to operations and maintenance, are also availableonline.

The grants are made available through federal Clean Vessel Act and stateWaterway Improvement Fund, which are both funded by fees and taxes paid by boaters.