Grant to Remove Abandoned, Derelict Vessels in US
A four-year, $10 million grant from NOAA’s Marine Debris Removal Program to the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water aims to rid U.S. shores of abandoned and derelict vessels (ADVs), and remove the associated pollution, navigation and safety hazards that can harm waters for years.
Boats end up abandoned or derelict on U.S. coasts for several reasons. Irresponsible owners abandon vessels when they can no longer afford to care for them or pay for their disposal. Poorly maintained, “at risk” anchored boats combined with the increasing frequency and severity of storms leave shorelines littered with wrecks after each hurricane.
The grant, funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, is part of NOAA’s larger mission to address marine debris, which not only includes fiberglass boats but derelict fishing gear, plastics and other types of debris. The majority of funds will kick-start a one-stop-shop competitive grant program to seek out and complete marine debris removal projects on U.S. saltwater coasts and in the Great Lakes for funding and support. Under the guidelines, any organization, public and private, will be able to apply for ADV removal funds.
To help educate and prevent future ADVs, the foundation will also create a national ADV database to track the scope of the challenge and measure success, document ADV prevention and removal activities to share with the public, and support a national dialogue and education efforts on boating-related debris removal, with an added focus on how ADVs impact waters in underserved communities.
The foundation, which drew more than 60 letters of support for the grant application, expects to announce the opening of ADV grant program applications in early 2024. Updates will be posted to BoatUS.org/ADVGrant as they occur.