PROVIDENCE - The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) announced today $270,000 in matching grants is available to help communities and businesses improve and maintain boat pump-out facilities in Rhode Island. A Request for Proposals (RFP) is now open – with a deadline of July 31, 2017.
"Narragansett Bay is the lifeblood of Rhode Island," said DEM Director Janet Coit. "Each year, thousands of boaters venture out to enjoy the beauty and tranquility of our waters. Protecting these resources is paramount. And over the years, we have made important progress and investment in cleaning up our waterways and addressing pollution. We must remain vigilant. Providing boaters with convenient access to pump-out facilities is critical to ensuring waste is disposed of properly. We are proud to support the efforts of our coastal communities and marinas through these grants to improve pump-out infrastructure around the state."
Boat sewage poses a significant threat to water quality by introducing bacteria and other pathogens and chemicals that are toxic to humans and marine life. Rhode Island was the first state in the nation to receive a statewide "no discharge" designation from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1998, which prohibits boats from discharging sewage into local waterways. There are currently 16 pump-out boats and 52 land-side facilities across the state. More are needed to adequately meet the demand. Some 40,000 boats are registered in Rhode Island, and the state welcomes many visiting boats each year.
Projects to construct, replace, retrofit or maintain public pump-out facilities are eligible to apply for funding. Up to $18,750 is available for land-based projects, and up to $56,250 is available for pump-out boat facilities. A 25-percent funding match is required. Conditions of the grants are that facilities are available to all boaters and grant recipients may not charge more than $5 per 25 gallons pumped. Funding is made possible via the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Clean Vessel Act (CVA). Since 1994, DEM has awarded nearly $2 million in CVA grants.
To review the full RFP or to apply for a grant, visit DEM's website or contact Cindy Hannus at email@example.com. Electronic applications are encouraged; however, proposals may also be mailed to the DEM Permit Application Center, 235 Promenade Street, Second Floor, Providence, RI 02908. Final proposals and supporting materials are due by 4:00 p.m. on Monday, July 31, 2017. Marinas, yacht clubs, and municipalities are eligible to apply.
For more information on DEM programs and initiatives, visit www.dem.ri.gov. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RhodeIslandDEM or on Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM) for timely updates.