Oregon Sea Grant Extension convenes task force on preventing abandonment of commercial vessels

Jamie Doyle is a coastal community development specialist with Oregon Sea Grant
Jamie Doyle is a coastal community development specialist with Oregon Sea Grant and OSU Extension. Photo by Tiffany Woods.

Abandoned and derelict commercial vessels can pollute marinas, take up valuable slip space, decrease the aesthetic value of an area, and pose a safety hazard if they sink or go adrift. Vessels such as fishing boats, tugs, and barges can be expensive and challenging to remove and recycle because of their size and potential to contain hazardous materials.

At the request of public ports, the Oregon State Marine Board, with help from Oregon Sea Grant Extension, formed a task force in 2016 charged with finding solutions to address abandoned and derelict commercial vessels. The group was also tasked with strategizing actions to prevent the problem and identifying potential funding mechanisms to remove these derelict vessels. Members include representatives from public ports, city marinas, fishing and conservation groups, law enforcement, the U.S. Coast Guard, and state agencies. Oregon Sea Grant Extension designed the overall process, facilitated the four meetings that were held in 2016, helped create the agendas, and briefly ran the task force during a staff transition at the marine board.

The task force began creating an inventory of all commercial vessels in Oregon waters and identifying the ones that are at risk of falling into neglect. The task force also created an online submission form that its members can use to report vessels that may be at risk of being abandoned or causing environmental damage.

Source: Jamie Doyle, a coastal community development specialist with Oregon Sea Grant and OSU Extension

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