South Carolina does have a formal abandoned vessel removal program that is administered by the Department of Health and Environmental Control, through the Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management. The Department of Natural Resources administers the state’s watercraft laws and is also responsible for addressing abandoned vessels. South Carolina’s abandoned vessel program is a multi-pronged effort involving a variety of state agencies and local governments. In 2004, South Carolina established an Abandoned Vessel Removal Task Force that includes the following four agencies: S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, S.C. Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
South Carolina does not have dedicated funding for abandoned and derelict vessel removal efforts, which are largely dependent on state appropriations or grant funding. Both the Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management and the Department of Natural Resources have the authority to use their dedicated funds to administer the laws under Chapter 30 of the Code of Regulations and Title 50 of the Code of Laws, respectively. In addition, when a seized abandoned vessel is sold at public auction, proceeds derived from the sale must be deposited in the Boating Operating Fund of the Department of Natural Resources to cover administration of the program.
State statutes under Fish, Game and Watercraft (Title 50), provide a definition for abandoned vessels and provisions that address the seizing, removal and disposal of abandoned and unattended vessels. In addition, provisions under Chapter 30 of South Carolina’s Code of Regulations, which is administered by the Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, address the removal of abandoned vessels found on critical areas of the state.
Point of Contact
The Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management administers the provisions for abandoned vessels found on the state’s critical areas under Chapter 30 of South Carolina’s Code of Regulations. They are also the lead agency for the state’s abandoned vessel reporting program. South Carolina’s Department of Natural Resources is the state agency that administers the state’s watercraft laws under Title 50 of the Code of laws, including registration and titling.