Funding for Marine Pump-Out Facilities & Pump-Out Boats

No Discharge Compliance Sticker

In August 1998, Rhode Island became the first state in the country to receive the US Environmental Protection Agency’s No Discharge designation for all of its marine waters. To maintain the No Discharge designation for the state’s marine waters, the DEM provides a competitive process grants for the marina industry to promote the development and maintenance of boater waste disposal (discharges) facilities in Rhode Island marine waters in conformance with the state’s Federal No Discharge designation. This public-private partnership has successfully reduced a significant source of pathogen contamination to the state’s coastal waters, including waters in close proximity to shellfish harvesting and swimming areas.

All applications must be submitted via the State of Rhode Island Grant Management System (eCivis). Applications will be accepted for the 2024 season from October 16, 2023 to December 31, 2024.

Grant Submission

All grant awards are subject to a 25% grantee (partner) dollar match requirement. Historically DEM has offered average grant awards of $22,500 for eligible project costs of new and replacement land-based facilities, and average grant awards of $75,000 for eligible project costs of new and replacement mobile pump-out boats. Operators of mobile pump-out vessels can also apply for a grant award for eligible Operation and Maintenance (O&M) costs, averaging $7,500. O&M costs eligible for reimbursement include hull painting, engine maintenance, pump periodic maintenance, insurance of pump-out vessel, fuel and oil, trailer maintenance, winterization, storage, launching and hauling, boat safety equipment, and personal protective equipment. DEM also offers grant awards to operators of land-based pump-out stations for eligible O&M costs, which average $2,250. O&M costs eligible for reimbursement include periodic maintenance, winterization, spring commissioning, replacement parts, and repair of sewer connections. To receive grant funding for operations and maintenance of land-based station pump-out facilities, the operator of said facility agrees not to charge the boater any fees for pump-out service.

  • Local Government
  • Non Profits
  • Other
  • Private Sector
  • State Government

Owners of any Rhode Island marina may apply for grants for projects located at the owner’s marina. Public entities such as cities or towns, harbor masters or other public agencies are also eligible to apply.  A non-owner operator may apply for such a grant, but only if the owner counter signs the application and the grant award.

DEM has the authority to adjust grant awards so that no one community, water body, or marina receives a disproportionate amount of the available funding and that a geographic distribution of funds is achieved. All requests for proposals will be ranked following the established grant award criteria as outlined in Sect. 7.7 (B) of Title 250-RICR-150-20-7 Rules and Regulations for RI Clean Vessel Act Pump-out Grant Program.

For further information, please visit the eCivis Grant Portal or contact Steven Engborg at DEM’s Office of Water Resources by telephone at 401-222-4700 ext. 2777259 or by e-mail at