The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is now accepting applications from marinas for grants of up to $2,500 to assist with operations and maintenance of marine sewage pumpout stations. The grant program aims to help marinas offer reliable pumpout service to boaters, which helps prevent sewage from entering Maryland’s waters. Applications will be accepted through April 15, 2023.

According to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the Marine Sewage Pumpout Grant program supports the installation and operation of pumpout stations as part of the overall strategy to reduce nutrients in the Chesapeake Bay. The department believes that pumpout stations are an important method for boaters to dispose of sewage properly, and that their installation and operation are essential to maintaining a clean and healthy bay.

Pier with pumpout station at Pocomoke River State Park Credit: Maryland Department of Natural Resources

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provides funding for the program with Clean Vessel Act and support from the Maryland Waterway Improvement Fund. Boaters pay into both funds through federal excise taxes on fishing equipment, motorboat and small engine fuels, and import duties, as well as when they title a boat in Maryland and pay the state’s excise tax.

Marinas interested in the grant program can find information and enrollment details on the Department of Natural Resources website or by emailing the Clean Vessel Act Program Administrator Celeste Anderson at Applications will be accepted until April 15, 2023.

The Marine Sewage Pumpout Grant program has been in place for several years, and marinas across the state have already benefited from the grants. In 2020, the program provided $62,500 in funding to 25 marinas to support the operation and maintenance of pumpout stations. The program has also been credited with helping to improve the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay by reducing the amount of sewage and other pollutants that enter the water.

The Chesapeake Bay is one of the largest and most important estuaries in the United States, providing habitat for hundreds of species of plants and animals. However, the bay has suffered from decades of pollution from agriculture, industry, and other sources. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources and other organizations have been working to improve the health of the bay through a variety of programs, including the Marine Sewage Pumpout Grant program.

By offering grants to marinas for the installation and maintenance of pumpout stations, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources is helping to ensure that boaters have a reliable and environmentally responsible way to dispose of their sewage. The program is just one part of the effort to protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay, and it has already made a significant impact on the health of the bay and its ecosystems.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/EditorEditor-in-Chief

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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