Florida Trend – Clean Vessel Act Protects Natural Resouces

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Florida marina owners see value in protecting water and preventing pollution.

Water is one of the Sunshine State’s most precious natural resources, and protecting it is an important responsibility shared by all Floridians.

Untreated discharge from one weekend boater puts the same amount of bacterial pollution into the water as the treated sewage of 10,000 people. Typhoid, hepatitis, cholera, gastroenteritis and other waterborne diseases can be transmitted through contaminated waters and infected shellfish.

Passed in 1992, the Clean Vessel Act (CVA) reduces pollution from vessel sewage discharges, prohibiting the discharge of raw sewage into fresh water or within coastal salt-water limits.

CVA’s grant program provides vessels owners with a safe and easy way to remove waste from their boats. Marina managers can apply for a CVA grant that supports the purchase, installation, operation, repair and maintenance of stationary pumpout equipment and dumps stations.

Administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and housed within the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Office of Sustainable Initiatives, the grants also support the purchase of pumpout vessels and educational programs for boaters.

DEP has awarded nearly $16 million to applicants and has seen an increase from 135 pumpout stations to nearly 450 in Florida. The CVA grant program as prevented more than 13 million gallons of sewage from entering into Florida’s waterways.

The size of the CVA grant varies from project to project, with $1,500 to $30,000 for stationary pumpouts and as such as $100,000 for pumpout vessels. In addition, applicants can receive funds for the repair and maintenance of these pumpout facilities, and marina managers can apply for the CVA grants throughout the calendar year.

Approved pumpout projects at marinas are reimbursed 75 percent of the total cost of pumpout projects, which means the marina provide 25 percent of the total – a 3-to-1 return on their investment.

–Ashley Cisneros
Ashley Cisneros is a co-founder of Chatter Buzz Media, an Orlando Internet marketing firm that helps companies and organizations engage with their target markets through inbound marketing via the Internet. Chatter Buzz Media, which won the Social Madness competition for the Orlando small business market, is a full-service digital marketing firm specializing in website design, search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing and content creation. Prior to founding Chatter Buzz, Ashley worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine editor, technical writer, marketing manager, public relations practitioner and freelance journalist. To see Ashley’s content writing, visit www.ashleycisneros.com. You can also reach Ashley on her Google profile.

About the Author:

Ashley Cisneros Mejia is a journalist, entrepreneur and marketer. She began her career as a newspaper reporter and later as an editor at Florida Trend business magazine. Ashley has worked as a professional freelance writer since 2009, as a technical writer, marketing manager, and public relations practitioner. She also founded two digital marketing agencies in Orlando. Named one of Orlando’s 40 Under 40 and honored by the Women’s Executive Council of Orlando for achievements in media and communications, Ashley earned a B.S. in Journalism and an M.S. in Entrepreneurship at the University of Florida.

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