Illinois does not have a formal abandoned or derelict vessel program that is administered by a state agency, however, they do have laws in place that address lost and abandoned watercraft. These laws allow private citizens and state police officers to remove abandoned, lost, stolen or unclaimed watercraft if they come into their temporary possession or custody.
Illinois does not have a dedicated funding source for the removal of abandoned or derelict vessels. The proceeds from the sale at public auction of lost, abandoned or unclaimed watercraft are deposited into the local or county government that has jurisdiction over the location where the vessel was found (625 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 45/3C-11).
Illinois statutes and administrative codes address lost and abandoned watercraft under 625 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 45/3C. These statutes make it unlawful to abandon a vessel or any part of a vessel on any waters of the state (625 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 45/3C-1a) or on private and public property, in view of the general public, except when the abandonment occurs on the property of the vessels owner or bailee (625 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 45/3C-1b). The provisions under 625 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 45/3C address the notification process, removal, ownership determination, reclamation, disposal and sale of lost or abandoned vessels on both public and private property.
Point of Contact
The Department of Natural Resources is the lead agency in the state of Illinois with regards to abandoned watercraft. Local, county and state law enforcement agencies are responsible for the removal and impoundment of lost or abandoned watercraft.