Removing Abandoned & Derelict Vessels in Virginia and Building Capacity for a Statewide Removal & Disposal Program
Lynnhaven River NOW and partners are working to remove and properly dispose of up to 100 abandoned and derelict vessels throughout Virginia’s coastal zone and inform the development of a Virginia abandoned and derelict vessel prevention and removal program.
Type of Project: Removal
Project Dates: July 2023 - June 2026
Who is involved?
With support from the NOAA Marine Debris Program through Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding, Lynnhaven River NOW is partnering with the BoatUS Foundation, Elizabeth River Project, Center for Sustainable Communities, Clean Virginia Waterways of Longwood University, OpinionWorks, LLC, Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program, and four planning district commissions from across Virginia (Middle Peninsula, Hampton Roads, Northern Neck, and Accomack-Northampton) to remove and properly dispose of up to 100 abandoned and derelict vessels throughout Virginia’s coastal zone.
What is the project and why is it important?
Investigations done in 2020-2022 by the Virginia Abandoned and Derelict Vessel Work Group revealed that abandoned and derelict vessels , especially fiberglass recreational boats, are a growing and unaddressed problem in the coastal and estuarine areas of Virginia. At least 200 abandoned and derelict vessels are known to be scattered throughout waterways of the Commonwealth. These vessels have the potential to harm sensitive habitats, such as wetlands and oyster reefs, as well as pose a hazard to navigation.
To address the growing threat of abandoned and derelict vessels in Virginia, Lynnhaven River NOW and their partners are removing up to 100 vessels throughout the coastal zone of Virginia. In addition to vessel removals, partners are gathering information from the general public and boating community through surveys, focus groups, and interviews. This effort includes outreach to diverse, underserved populations throughout the coastal zone. The project will also inform the future development of Virginia’s first abandoned and derelict vessel prevention and removal program.
For more information about this project, visit the Marine Debris Program Clearinghouse.