We are excited to announce that we are relaunching our Pumpout Program. After a 2-year hiatus, our pumpout vessel, Headmaster, is back in the water and is being captained by our newest staff member, Pumpout Coordinator Chris Gilday.
“After working as a commercial fisherman for decades, I know firsthand how much clean marine water matters,” says Chris. “Keeping the water free of sewage by getting a pumpout is one easy thing boaters can do to ensure the Bay stays healthy.”
Casco Bay is a federally-designated No Discharge Area, making it illegal for any boat — from cruise ships to pleasure crafts — to discharge raw or partially treated sewage into the Bay. Friends of Casco Bay’s pumpout service offers an easy way for boat owners to comply with this law, and has helped to keep over 254,000 gallons of sewage out of Casco Bay since it was launched in 1995.
“The combined effects of pumpouts, the Clean Water Act, and the No Discharge Area have transformed Casco Bay,” said Friends of Casco Bay’s executive director, Will Everitt. “Just 50 years ago, sailing magazines warned tourists to avoid the Bay. Today our waters are far cleaner. As boaters, we all must continue to do our part to keep the Bay clean and healthy for everyone.”
Thousands of boats pass through and anchor in Casco Bay every summer. The past two summers in particular have seen a dramatic increase in the number of recreational boats on the Bay. With more people on the water, it is more important than ever for boaters to keep their sewage out of the Bay, in addition to other best practices like avoiding fuel spills at the gas pump, preventing trash and litter from entering the water, and proper disposal of marine flares. Boaters can learn more about these best practices at cascobay.org/boating.
“Getting a pumpout is one of the best things boaters can do,” said Casco Baykeeper Ivy Frignoca. “It keeps the Bay free from bacteria and sewage that foul our waters and make them unsafe for recreation, fishing, and wildlife. With our pumpout service offering a safe and legal way to dispose of sewage, there is no reason to not pumpout your boat.”
To request a pumpout from Friends of Casco Bay, you must sign up for our service. You may also email pumpout [at] cascobay [dot] org or call (207) 776-0136 with questions about our service. We charge a $10 pumpout fee per 20-gallons of sewage, and additionally offer holding tank flushes for $15. For more information about our pumpout service, boaters can visit www.cascobay.org/pumpout.