News from the DNR Office of Communications

DNR Conducting Field Inspections Of Marine Sewage Pumpout Stations

ANNAPOLIS, MD (December 7, 2009) — The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is currently conducting a field inspection of all grant-funded marine sewage pumpout facilities in Maryland.

Approximately 350 of the state’s 600+ marinas have state and/or federally funded pumpouts, which are used to empty both vessel holding tanks and portable toilets for recreational and light commercial boats. Maryland law requires marinas with 50 or more slips, as well as new or expanding marinas, to have an operable pumpout facility available during reasonable times.

To ensure boaters are being served by operable and available pumpouts, DNR Boating Services staff have begun conducting physical inspections at marinas across the State; systems that have been winterized will be checked in the spring. Marina representatives will be encouraged to repair or replace systems found deficient, and follow-up inspections will be conducted as needed.

All marinas, regardless of size, may apply for 100 percent grants from DNR to purchase/install a pumpout, to upgrade/replace an existing pumpout, and to offset on-going operations and maintenance expenses. Funding is provided through the federal Clean Vessel Act (75%) and DNR’s Waterway Improvement Fund (25%).

“We are proud to be helping in the effort to clean up the Chesapeake Bay and having a pumpout has been a great way to demonstrate that commitment,” said Cordell Vitkun, manager of Chesapeake Yacht Club, a certified Maryland Clean Marina in Shady Side. “Our boaters love it and, with 100 percent grant funding from DNR, it is a real win/win.”

“This is a terrific partnership among the private sector, DNR, and the federal government in helping to clean up our waterways,” said Boating Services Director Bob Gaudette. “We want to be certain that these pumpouts are working and available to the thousands of boaters that use these facilities and enjoy our waterways.”

Marinas are encouraged to take advantage of the off-season by undertaking a pumpout project. For further information about DNR’s Marine Sewage Pumpout Program, please visit  To schedule a visit, contact Kitty Riggin with DNR Boating Services at 410.260.8772 or

   December 7, 2009

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 461,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries, and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic, and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at