Cleaning up Richardson Bay: One Vessel at a Time

A view from high up looking over Richardson Bay in California during a sunrise.

Richardson’s Bay Regional Agency is expecting to remove approximately 250 tons of abandoned and derelict vessels from Richardson Bay, located within the San Francisco Bay area.

Type of Project: Removal 

Region: California

Project Dates: August 2019 - June 2021

Who is involved?
With the support of a NOAA Marine Debris Program Removal Grant, Richardson’s Bay Regional Agency will work to remove deteriorated or unseaworthy vessels from Richardson Bay, located within the San Francisco Bay, to preserve and protect local natural resources such as eelgrass beds, herring, and migratory birds.

What is the project and why is it important?
Without prevention or the removal of abandoned and derelict vessels (ADVs), such vessels will likely sink, leak contaminants, discharge debris, or release hazardous materials into San Francisco Bay. If an ADV is anchored or moored to a particular location, they run the risk of breaking free and drifting off to other parts of the Bay or shore, damaging resources and becoming a navigational hazard. 

This project is focused on the removal of about 25 abandoned or derelict vessels between 18 and 50 feet in length. These vessels, either gas powered or sailboat, can be made of any variety of materials such as fiberglass, steel, wood, and/or a composite material made up of mortar and light wire steel mesh. The expected total weight of debris removed from the Bay will be about 250 tons.