Coastal Office Clears Scores of Abandoned Vessels Post-Hurricane

The Takeaway: Staff members completed 50 vessel assessments and 38 vessel removals while guiding the protection of wildlife and sensitive areas.

Following Hurricane Irma in September 2017, the Florida Coastal Management Office volunteered hundreds of hours to remove derelict vessels posing environmental and navigation threats to waterways. Staff members assessed 50 vessels and removed 38 vessels while ensuring that wildlife and sensitive areas were protected.

Their hard work saved the state a considerable sum. A 2014 case study found that removing a derelict vessel costs an average of $103 dollars per foot, with the average vessel topping 26 feet in length. Abandoned and derelict vessels pollute marine areas and hamper navigation, cutting down on commercial and recreational uses. They also attract illegal activity, theft, and vandalism.

For this work, the state coastal office supported the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, U.S. Coast Guard, and US Environmental Protection Agency. (2018)