California Division of Boating and Waterways accepting grants for clean waterways

California State Parks’ Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) is now accepting grant applications for the Clean Vessel Act (CVA) Education and Outreach Grant Program. A maximum of $280,031 of federal funding per targeted region is available to organizations for educating coastal and San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary recreational boaters about proper vessel sewage disposal and the use of pumpout facilities, and monitoring pumpout and dump stations.

In 1992, Congress passed the CVA to help reduce pollution from vessel sewage discharges into U.S. waters. The grant program serves as an important educational opportunity for all boaters on how to help keep California’s waterways clean. Discharging sewage overboard creates environmental and human health problems. To reduce the negative impacts of this harmful action, all recreational boaters are encouraged to use sewage management facilities, including pumpout stations, dump stations, and mobile pumpout services.

The grant program targets two geographic regions of California:

San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary

Counties of:

AlamedaNapaSan MateoSonoma
Contra CostaSacramentoSanta Clara 
MarinSan FranciscoSanta Cruz 
MontereySan JoaquinSolano 

Southern California Coast

Counties of:

Los AngelesSan DiegoSanta Barbara
OrangeSan Luis ObispoVentura

Proposals that cover a portion of the above regions will be considered if, over time, the agency can expand program(s) to the entire region. 

As part of DBW’s commitment to provide clean, safe, and enjoyable recreational boating in California, the Division serves as the state CVA grant coordinator. DBW will fund two grants (one for each targeted California geographic region) to develop and implement a 12-month Clean Vessel Act Education and Outreach Program. Each regional grant must include education and outreach efforts, and a pumpout/dump station monitoring program. Applications will be evaluated and ranked according to how each application proposal demonstrates comprehensive and proven methods for meeting grant program goals. The deadline to submit applications is Friday, August 9, 2024, by 10 a.m.

Below are some examples of accomplishments from the CVA Education and Outreach Grant Program in the last two grant cycles:

  • Participated in three boating events and conducted nine presentations on clean boating and sewage pollution prevention best management practices, reaching over 700 individual boaters and stakeholders.
  • Produced and promoted a variety of educational videos about sewage management such as “Consider a Marine Composting Toilet” video and the “Marine Sanitation Device & Y-Valve Information for Boaters” video.
  • Continued to provide boaters with a sewage pumpout Nav App (more than 20,000 downloads since March 2018) that helps them locate nearby participating, functioning sewage pumpout stations, dump stations and floating restrooms.
  • Monitored 152 sewage pumpouts and 15 dump stations in 19 counties eight times. Developed the 2023 California Clean Vessel Act Pumpout and Dump Station Performance Report summarizing the monitoring efforts and results. Monitoring provides an effective means for encouraging regular maintenance and accountability for the pumpouts’ condition.

The CVA Education and Outreach Program grants are funded by the Division of Boating and Waterways with funding provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund. For detailed information on the grant program, the current grant application, requirements, and a complete guidelines packet, please visit DBW’s website at

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