RICHMOND, Virginia – Many boats have been abandoned in Virginia’s waterways. Longwood University’s Clean Virginia Waterways (CVW) and Virginia Coastal Zone Management (CZM) program are teaming up to address this issue by asking marinas and boaters across the state to share information about abandoned boats.

In February, News 3 told you about neglected boats left to rot in our Virginia Beach waterways, creating not only an eyesore, but also environmental and safety issues. The Vessel Disposal and Reuse Foundation (VRDF) has taken action to clean up derelict vessels, organizing a fundraiser to raise the funds needed to remove four boats from the Lynnhaven River.

“Abandoned vessels pose an imminent threat to coastal and inland waterways,” says Katie Register, CVW’s executive director. “Abandoned and unclaimed vessels in waterways create navigational hazards, environmental risks and economic impacts, which endanger humans and marine species,” she continued.

Although it is illegal for boaters to abandon their vessels in the Commonwealth, there are limited and costly options for people to get rid of their unwanted boats, which contributes to the problem.

The United States Coast Guard Sector Virginia has documented 170 derelict and derelict vessels (ADVs) in Virginia since 2013. According to CVW, having an up-to-date inventory of statewide ADVs in Virginia is the first step to address possible threats to the environment, particularly to the Commonwealth Coasts, Lakes and Inland Waterways.

The organization is currently distributing flyers to marinas across the state to raise awareness of this inventory. If you are aware of abandoned boats in the water, we encourage you to complete this online form.

Longwood University Clean Virginia Waterways (CVW); the Virginia Coastal Zone Management (CZM) program

After creating a statewide inventory, which would include photos or documentation of current vessel conditions, organizations will be able to work with authorities and stakeholders to prioritize vessels to remove as soon as funding becomes available, says Jeff Flood, coastal planner for the Virginia CZM program.

The Virginia CZM Program and CVW partnered in 2021 to form a Virginia ADV Task Force to address this growing problem.