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About the Clean Vessel Act

The main objective of the Clean Vessel Act (CVA) of 1992 is to reduce raw sewage discharge into national waterbodies by providing pump out and dump out stations for boaters to properly dispose of their waste in an environmentally safe manner.

Researchers have determined that due to the lack of sewage disposal facilities for recreational boaters, sewage was being discharged into public waters, resulting in impaired waterbodies across the nation. The CVA Program provides federal funding to states for the construction, renovation, operations and maintenance of pump out and dump out stations to help address this need.

The CVA initially established a five-year federal grant program administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and authorized $40 million in funding from the Sport Fish Restoration Account of the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund. Every five years, Congress reauthorizes the federal funding appropriation. Each year, the state can apply for the funding to account for up to 75% of all approved projects, while the remaining match funds are supplemented by the state, local government, private businesses or associations.   

In 1998, Congress appropriated $50 million in funding to continue the pump out grant program. The funding supported the expansion to more areas throughout the United States and to make pump outs more accessible to the public. When boaters have more access to pump out and dump out stations, our public waters become less polluted. Pump out funding continues to be awarded yearly to states through the Clean Vessel Act.

Learn more about the federal grant program.

Florida's Clean Vessel Act Program

In Florida, the Clean Vessel Act Grant Program is administered through the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in Tallahassee. Applications are accepted year-round and are funded on a first-come, first-served basis.

Since Florida initiated the program in 1994, more than 570 pump outs have been installed across the state. Learn how you can apply for a pump out station and keep our waters clean by checking out the Apply for a CVA Grant page.

Rules and Regulations

  • Florida Statute 327.53 provides regulations for marine sanitation disposal within state waters.

Last Modified:
December 18, 2023 - 8:22am

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