The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has been awarded more than $350,000 for the installation and maintenance of marine sewage pumpout stations across the state. The funding will go toward existing pumpouts as well as support pumpout boats operated by the City of Annapolis, the Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy and the West and Rhode Riverkeeper.

“This grant greatly aids our efforts to serve Maryland boaters over the course of the year,” Clean Marina Program Director Donna Morrow said. “The funding helps operators at marinas and pumpout boats serve the thousands of recreational boaters, who obey the law and contribute to keeping our waters clean by using pumpout facilities and stations. We are proud to do our part to help improve water quality.”

The department administers the Maryland Marine Sewage Pumpout Grant Program by providing funding to marinas to purchase, install and maintain pumpouts. These pumpouts, which allow boaters to properly dispose of sewage, have removed an estimated two million gallons last year alone. The grants, comprised of 75 percent federal funds and 25 percent state funds, have created and sustained approximately 350 pumpout stations throughout Maryland.

Maryland law requires any marina with 50 or more slips, any existing marina expanding to more than 10 slips and any new marina with at least 10 slips to have an operable pumpout. Marina operators, including those at boatyards, yacht clubs and community associations, who are interested in trying to obtain a grant, can find more information here. Boaters are reminded that it is illegal to discharge raw sewage anywhere in Maryland waters.

Maryland’s funding was part of the Clean Vessel Act Grant Program that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service administers nationwide. The program uses monies provided by the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund.