First Of Its Kind Solar Pump-Out Boat Docks In Town

The town of Branford was joined by state, local, and regional leaders on Monday at the Dockside Restaurant to launch a new solar powered pump-out boat. It is the world’s first full-sized solar-powered pump-out boat that will begin operation next spring. It will be housed at Bruce and Johnson’s Marina and when activated will not only serve Branford, but Guilford, East Haven, New Haven, and West Haven as well.

The mission of the East Shore District Health Department is to “provide leadership to protect and preserve our oceans and coastal waters.” Michael Pascucilla, health director, said that in partnership with the local municipalities, the pump-out boat represents an important part of keeping the local waters clean, as they make it easy for boaters to do the right thing and keep their waste out of the water

Last year alone the boats collected over 200,000 gallons of sewage, which might otherwise have polluted Long Island Sound. Boaters can call 203-430-9305 and schedule a free pump out or register at The pump-out boat will be brought directly to the vessels free of charge to collect any sewage. It will operate 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Monday.

First Selectman Jamie Cosgrove said, “I’m pleased that the project has come to fruition…. Branford has been pro-active in addressing environmental concerns, but really protecting our assets, our resources.” He thanked members of the East Shore District Health Department board many of which were present for the ceremony.

Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Robert Klee promoted the fact that this innovative program is a first of a kind in the world and has endless benefits for all wildlife in the Sound.

The new boat (top photo) is powered by renewable energy.

Klee said that the old boat is powered by gas or diesel engines and they omit greenhouse gas emission. 

United States Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-3rd District) said this type of story makes politicians who are involved in the project “very happy.”

She said, “If there is a connection between federal, state, and local officials, this type of project will happen. And I want to say this would not have happened without Branford’s James Cosgrove.”

Wendi Weber, regional director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, was also praised by DeLauro.

DeLauro added, “This waste-free solar boat will not only help the Sound remain sewage free, but serves as an example how we can reduce our carbon footprint across the Sound.”

Banner lists sponsors for the project.

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