PUMPOUT FLORIDA KEYS - public education
PumpOut USA™ has published Point of Sale Posters, rack cards, and registration packets. Quarterly e-Letters will be sent to all registered on this free program and offer tips or updates concerning our programs. The public’s awareness is a high priority and, additionally, each of our captains are available to speak to fishing clubs, marinas, retail outlets, and schools concerning the importance of not discharging waste in Monroe County waters and the County, State and Federal Laws designed to protect the environment in the Florida Keys. You may contact our office to schedule speaking services.
Florida Department of Environmental Protection / Clean Vessel Act (CVA)
The Clean Vessel Act (CVA) of 1992 was signed into law to reduce pollution from vessel sewage discharges, prohibiting the discharge of raw sewage into fresh water or within coastal salt-water limits. The act established a federal grant program administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which to date has awarded nearly $150 million for states to install thousands of sewage pumpout stations. The program, housed within DEPs Office of Sustainable Initiatives, provides grants for construction and installation of sewage pumpout facilities and purchase of pumpout boats and educational programs for boaters. Read More About the CVA
Pitch In, Pump Out
Boaters and marinas have a unique opportunity to actually stop a type of water pollution that can harm the boating life we love. And, it’s an easy fix—properly managing vessel sewage. It’s something every boater and every marina can do right now to keep our waterways clean and improve Florida’s water quality.
Most areas where boats congregate—harbors, anchorages, marinas, and some mooring fields —are naturally sheltered or semi-enclosed. These sheltered areas are not flushed as well as open waters so the end result is that any waste we put there tends to stay there. Unsightly and unhealthy, vessel waste has the potential to put a real damper on our water-based recreation.
It's the Law
Federal law and Florida Statute 327.53 prohibits discharging raw sewage in all fresh water or within coastal water limits; nine nautical miles in the Gulf of Mexico and three nautical miles in the Atlantic Ocean.
Sewage in Waterways is a Health Hazard
Sewage from boats contains disease-causing microorganisms that when discharged into waterways can impact the environment as well as human health. 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.
To Protect the Environment
Sewage reduces oxygen levels in the water that fish and other aquatic species need to survive. Since the microorganisms within the sewage need oxygen, any discharge into waterways reduces the amount of oxygen available to fish and other aquatic life. Heavy nutrient loads in sewage also promote excessive algae growth preventing life-giving sunlight from reaching subsurface vegetation.