Hurricane Florence Vessel Removal in North Carolina

A derelict vessel on its side and partially submerged in the water.


The North Carolina Coastal Federation will remove over 40 abandoned and derelict vessels resulting from Hurricane Florence from the Central and Southeast regions of the North Carolina Coast.

Type of Project: Hurricane Response Marine Debris Removal Fund

Region: Southeast Region

Project Dates: November 2020 - October 2022

Who is involved?
With support from the Hurricane Response Marine Debris Removal Fund, a partnership between the NOAA Marine Debris Program and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the North Carolina Coastal Federation will partner with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission to assess, remove, and dispose of over 40 abandoned and derelict vessels left in the wake of Hurricane Florence.

What is the project and why is it important?
Hurricane Florence devastated the North Carolina coast in the fall of 2018, with 34 counties declared as federal disaster areas. This hurricane left large high concentrations of abandoned and derelict vessels (ADVs), stuck or sinking in coastal waters of Craven, Pamlico, Hyde, Carteret, Craven, Onslow, Pender and New Hanover counties. Many of these vessels were abandoned or became derelict after floating away from docks that were destroyed or washed away during the hurricane, and could harm important habitat areas and the economic interests of coastal communities. Immediately after the storm, the North Carolina Coastal Federation, United States Coast Guard, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, North Carolina Division of Coastal Management, and other agencies cataloged the ADVs along the coast in an effort to inventory the issue and contact vessel owners.  

Through this project, the North Carolina Coastal Federation will remove at least 40 vessels located in important coastal waters and on public lands in the central and southeastern part of the state. This important work will restore habitat, benefit critical tourism and fishing trades, improve vessel navigation, and help address storm debris actions in the first ever, North Carolina Marine Debris Action Plan. This project, building upon additional recent efforts and in concert with others being conducted simultaneously, will culminate in the largest organized public lands and waters ADV and debris removal effort in North Carolina’s coastal history.