Back to Our Work

Derelict Vessels


Derelict and abandoned vessels can negatively impact many aspects of our marine environment and community. These vessels can create a navigational hazard and impact recreational and cultural access. Additionally, derelict vessels pose a threat to the marine environment as both a physical impediment to habitats and processes and a potential source of pollutants and marine debris. The Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) runs a Derelict Vessel Removal Program that began in 2002. DNR’s program works with local approved entities on derelict vessel removal and prevention efforts. Snohomish MRC and Snohomish County Surface Water Management have partnered with DNR’s derelict vessel program to remove 20 vessels from the Snohomish River Estuary between 2018 and 2022. San Juan MRC partners with their county program to identify vessels of concern as part of derelict vessel prevention.


Following the lead of MRCs local efforts, the Commission is working with MRCs and tribal partners to identify derelict vessels for removal and prevention actions in the Northwest Straits region. In 2023 we are working with DNR’s Derelict Vessel Removal Program to remove vessels prioritized by MRCs and tribal partners. In addition to removals, we are co-hosting a few derelict vessel turn-in events. Stay tuned for more exciting details!