Best Season Yet for Eastern Shore's Free Pumpout Boat

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The pumpout boat that offers free service to boaters on the Miles and Wye Rivers pumped a record 15,000 gallons of sewage waste this boating season.

ShoreRivers, the waterkeepers’ organization for Maryland’s mid-Eastern Shore, has been operating the pumpout boat since 2016. They bought it with funding from the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Clean Vessel Act.

In 2016, the boat pumped 8,500 gallons. In 2017, it pumped 12,000 gallons. And in 2018, ShoreRivers exceeded its goal by pumping 15,000 gallons of waste from recreational boaters. According to the ShoreRivers “Poop Meter,” the boat has pumped nearly 36,000 gallons in all.

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The pumpout boat operates from May through October, and continues to be funded by DNR. It’s home base is at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, which donates free dockage, storage, and use of their land-based pump-out station to offload the waste from the boat. The sewage waste removed from boats then goes directly to the St. Michael’s wastewater treatment plant.

Keeping thousands of gallons of waste out of the Bay reduces nutrient pollution and harmful bacteria. The pumpout boat offers a convenient way for boaters to properly dispose of waste instead of releasing it into the water.

“We are thrilled to have met our goal for this third season of the pumpout boat,” says ShoreRivers Miles-Wye Riverkeeper Elle Bassett. “This vessel directly supports our vision of healthy waterways… I’m looking forward to setting a new record in 2019!”

To learn more about the ShoreRivers pumpout boat, click here.

-Meg Walburn Viviano

Bay Bulletin