Rhode Island has had a formal program in place to deal with abandoned and derelict vessels since 2012, when new legislation was passed by the General Assembly. The program is administered by the Department of Environmental Management and enforced by their Office of Law Enforcement under provisions contained in Title 46, Waters and Navigation, of Rhode Island’s General Laws.
Rhode Island established the Derelict and Abandoned Vessel and Obstruction Removal Account under Title 46, to fund the removal and disposal of vessels taken into custody pursuant to provisions contained under this Title. The account is funded through a derelict and abandoned vessel and obstruction removal fee that is assessed biennially through the state's vessel registration process.
Rhode Island passed legislation in 2012 that contained provisions that amended existing laws on abandoned and derelict vessels and created the Derelict and Abandoned Vessel and Obstruction Removal Commission and the Derelict and Abandoned Vessel and Obstruction Removal Account. Rhode Island General laws addressing Obstructions to Navigation, under title 46, provide a legal definition for both abandoned and derelict vessels and contain provisions to address the notification process, removal and disposal of ADVs.
Point of Contact
Rhode Island’s Department of Environmental Management is the lead agency that administers the derelict and abandoned vessel program for the state. The Rhode Island Derelict and Abandoned Vessel and Obstruction Removal Commission is responsible for reviewing abandoned vessel removal applications, providing funding and prioritizing vessel removals.