U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Wildlife & Sport Fish Restoration Program

Clean Vessel Act Grant Program - History

The Clean Vessel Grant Program was authorized by the Clean Vessel Act of 1992 (Public Law 102-587) which amended the Sport Fish Restoration Act (SFR), commonly referred to as the Dingell-Johnson (DJ) Act. The original SFR Act was passed on August 9, 1950.

The 1992 amendment to the SFR Act established a five year federal grant program and provided $40 million out of the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund for the CVA Program. The revenues in the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund were derived from manufacturers’ excise taxes on sport fishing equipment and a portion of the gasoline fuel tax attributable to small engines and motorboats. Funds were made available for the following years: $5 million for FY 1993; $7.5 million for FY 1994; $7.5 million for FY 1995; $10 million for FY 1996; and $10 million for FY 1997. No funds were available for FY 1998.

The SFR Act was again amended under the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) in 1998. The TEA-21 amendment extended the CVA Program and provided $50 million, $10 million for each fiscal year 1999 through 2003.

The CVA Program was funded $10 million annually through Continuing Resolutions for FY 2004 and 2005.

In 2005 the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act (SAFETEA) was signed into law and provided for the reauthorization of Sport Fish Restoration Act including the CVA Program through 2009. In addition to the excise taxes on sport fishing equipment, the 2005 amendment captured an additional 4.8 cents per gallon of fuel tax attributable to small engines and motorboats beginning in FY 05-06. The amendment eliminated the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund and established the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund. It also changed the annual distribution to the CVA Program to 2% of the funds in the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund after deducting amounts for WSFR administration, the Multistate Conservation Grant Program, the Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council and fisheries commissions.