Thousands of boaters enjoy
the Keys waters every year. However, many boat owners end up neglecting their boats,
leaving them at anchor to become derelict or abandoned.
Unfortunately, those vessels often become environmental or navigational
hazards and must be removed from the water at the tax payer’s expense.
Derelict Vessel Removal Program
The Monroe County Marine Resources Office works cooperatively with the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Monroe County Sheriff's Office to remove derelict vessels. Law enforcement personnel notify boat owners who may be subject to fines or jail time if they do not take corrective action.
Special Marquesas Keys Cleanup Project
A multi-agency project to remove 31 abandoned and derelict vessels from the remote Marquesas Keys was completed March 31, 2017 -- just in
time for the start of bird and turtle nesting seasons.
Monroe County’s Marine Resources Office led the $61,200
effort that restored shoreline and nearshore habitats in the Marquesas Keys – a
group of islands located about 17 nautical miles west of Key West and within
the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and the Key West National Wildlife
Refuge. These islands have been a historic landing spot for Cuban migrant
rafters, who leave behind their rustic vessels known as “chugs” that contain
batteries, fuel, oil, polystyrene foam, plastic and other hazardous materials.
To watch a video of the project: Click here.