Texas does have a formal program for dealing with both abandoned and derelict vessels under the Oil Spill Prevention and Response Act of 1991 that is administered by the Texas General Land Office through the state's Administrative Codes.
Funding the removal of abandoned and derelict vessels in Texas comes from a variety of sources. The costs incurred by law enforcement agencies for removing abandoned watercraft will, if possible, be reimbursed from the proceeds generated from selling or salvaging the vessel. Texas has also established a Coastal Protection Fund, under the Oil Spill Prevention and response Act, that is designed to pay for the costs of oil spill response and prevention.
Provisions under Texas' Oil Spill Prevention and Response Act address the taking, removal and disposal of abandoned and derelict vessels, while also addressing the right of ownership. Vessel registration and titling are administered by state statutes under the purview of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The Department of Motor Vehicles also has specific statutes that deal with nuisance or “junked” watercraft.
Point of Contact
The General Land Office of Texas administers abandoned vessels and structures in coastal waters under the Oil Spill Prevention and Response Act. County or municipal law enforcement agencies are responsible for taking custody of abandoned vessels found on public and private property.