The F/V Elusive Dream being towed away from the SNohomish Estuary site where it had been derelict for many years. Photo: Global Diving

Derelict Vessels: An Elusive Dream come true in Snohomish County

Within the Snohomish Estuary, derelict and abandoned vessels are a concern for navigation and environmental conditions. In Steamboat Slough, a derelict dock played host to the equally derelict F/V Elusive Dream, which has been in Washington State’s Derelict Vessel Inventory since 2006 - but likely sitting derelict for much longer. In 2021, the Shilo joined the same dock and sunk to the bottom of the slough. 

In April, Snohomish MRC, Snohomish County Surface Water Management, WA Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and the NW Straits Commission partnered to remove both vessels. The Elusive Dream was towed away for disposal, while the Shilo had sunk and was partially buried, making removal more complex. Contractors removed as much as possible, including the two main engines, an auxiliary engine, and multiple fuel tanks with an estimated 100 gallons of fuel. 

Elisa Dawson, staff for Snohomish MRC and Surface Water Management, said “It feels monumental for us in Snohomish County. Staff and MRC members have dreamed of removing the Elusive Dream and the Shilo for years. I know I can speak for everyone at Snohomish County when I say really nice work by all! We appreciate the NW Straits Commission putting the funds together and the work by DNR to make this happen. An elusive dream come true!”

Follow along as we continue to tackle derelict vessels in the NW Straits region in partnership with DNR, MRCs, and tribes, with Congressionally Directed funds from NOAA.

Click here to learn more about our Derelict Vessel removal efforts.

The Northwest Straits Commission is a regional coordinating body comprised of people who care about the marine areas where they live, and who work together to protect and restore marine resources.

The Northwest Straits Commission carries out regional conservation projects and supports the work of seven Marine Resources Committees through funding, technical support, training and regional coordination.

Find us on:  Facebook   Twitter   Instagram   LinkedIn

More About Us and the Northwest Straits Region »

June 2023 Commission meeting

June 23

  • Member Spotlight: Karin Roemers-Kleven

  • Beach seine with schools

    Whatcom MRC

    Whatcom MRC held their first 2023 Beach Seine with Schools event in April, with Lummi School 4th graders hitting the beach on a sunny spring day! While kids ate their lunch, Lummi Elder and retired Skookum Hatchery Manager Bill Finkbonner spoke about the history of salmon fishing using fish traps and reef net gear and the important role of salmon hatcheries in providing sustainable populations.

    Many thanks to the Lummi Nation School teachers and Natural Resources staff, along with Whatcom MRC members who developed the project and led the classroom activities, as well as the many volunteers and SSCC members who helped ensure a successful event on the beach.

    Click here to learn more about this project.

  • Save the Date! Fidalgo Bay Day at Fidalgo Bay Resort - August 26!

    Skagit MRC
    August 26 – Save the date! Fidalgo Bay Day at Fidalgo Bay Resort. 11am-3pm. Check back at for more information as the event date approaches.


  • Congratulations Salish Sea Steward Grads!

    Skagit MRC
    Congratulations to the 2023 graduating class of Salish Sea Stewards! On April 24, these 24 new volunteers joined the growing network of Salish Sea Stewards in Skagit County. Over the last 11 weeks, the 2023 cohort participated in 40 hours of training on the Salish Sea and the many ways to volunteer in Skagit County. 

    The 2023 cohort of Salish Sea Stewards committed to volunteering for at least 40 hours over the next year. We look forward to their contributions to the health of the Salish Sea in the next year and beyond.  

    Click here to learn more about the Salish Sea Stewards, a program of the Skagit MRC. 

Member Spotlight: Karin Roemers-Kleven

San Juan MRC

Karin relocated to San Juan County from Tacoma in 2015 to be close to the resident orcas. As the whales' numbers began to decline, Karin wanted to help, and devoted nearly 200 hours on training focused on the environment the whales depend on. She sought avenues to pass that knowledge on to others and engage them through storytelling to change their impact on the ecosystem.

Continue Reading »

Upcoming Events

  • Jun


    June 2023 Commission meeting

    June 23

    Check back for agenda and meeting materials. 

    This is planned as an in-person meeting. Location to be determined. 

  • Jul


    July 2023 Commission meeting

    July 28

    Check back for meeting location, agenda, and meeting materials.

  • Aug


    August 2023 Commission meeting

    August 25

    Check back for agenda and meeting materials.

    Join Zoom meeting - click here.
    Meeting ID: 814 7664 5479
    Passcode: 045521