106 Abandoned and Derelict Vessels (ADV) Removed So Far Since March 2021!

Abandoned and Derelict Vessels mapped along the North Carolina coast.

N.C. Wildlife Resource Commission Empowered and Funded to Take Action on ADVs

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission (WRC) was appropriated $1 million from the North Carolina General Assembly in 2021 and $1.5 million in 2022 to address and remove abandoned and derelict vessels across the North Carolina coast. In partnership with the Division of Coastal Management and the Federation, a full-scale collaborative effort was conducted to address the removal of these vessels. The Federation is partnering with WRC to engage legislative staff and members in promoting a permanent abandoned and derelict vessel program. Legislative language was passed in early July 2020 allowing WRC the authority to inspect, investigate, and remove abandoned and derelict vessels under Section 2.1 of S.L 2019-224. With funding from state appropriations, WRC has removed 159 vessels so far since 2021.

Vessels that have been identified as abandoned or derelict are maintained on a state database and prioritized for removal. WRC maintains a map of ADVs and provides an email to report ADVs: adv@ncwildlife.org.

Current Projects

Central and Southern Regions Removing Sailboats, Trawlers, Motor Yachts, and Skiffs

N.C. General Assembly State Appropriation

The Coastal Federation (Federation) received $500,000 from the N.C. General Assembly to remove marine debris from the coast of North Carolina in 2022. This funding supported the Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Project in 2022, general hurricane marine debris removal efforts as well as abandoned and derelict vessel removals. As of April 2023, 6 vessels have been removed.  A total of 130.77 tons of marine debris have been removed from the central and southeast coasts. A total of 1,983 derelict crab pots were removed in 2022. 

Natural Resources Conservation Service

The Coastal Federation has partnered with the Division of Coastal Management in 2020 to secure over $2 million to expand previous hurricane debris cleanup efforts and address the removal of abandoned and derelict vessels in coastal waters. The Division of Coastal Management received funding from the Emergency Watershed Program run by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). This federal funding was matched with an additional $250,000 appropriated by the N.C. General Assembly to the Division. Vessel removals began in the central and southeast coast of N.C. in late March 2021. As of November 1, 2022, all 24 of the targeted vessels have been removed.

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

Additionally, the Federation received a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation of $1.3 million in 2020 to clean up marine debris and abandoned and derelict vessels from Hurricane Michael and Florence along the southern and central coasts. Under this grant, 53 vessels were removed from March 2021 to April 2023 from Brunswick, New Hanover, Pender, Onslow, Carteret, Craven, Pamlico, and Beaufort counties. A total of 319.47 tons of marine debris were removed from the central and southeast coasts. 

NOAA Marine Debris Program Vessel Removal in the Northeast Region

The Coastal Federation removed large-scale marine debris in the Albemarle-Pamlico Sound with a grant award from the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Marine Debris Program. Division of Coastal Management staff identified numerous abandoned and derelict vessels and other large-scale marine debris that negatively impacted different habitats within Currituck Banks and Kitty Hawk Woods component of the N.C. Coastal Reserve. The Federation coordinated the project in partnership with Dare County and the Division of Coastal Management. Vessel removals began in the fall of 2021 in the northeast region. A total of 23 vessels were removed by January 2022.