WA State Legislature moves forward on derelict vessel bill

Photo of tugboats getting vessels ready for towing.
Tugs from Global Diving & Salvage prepare two derelict vessels for towing from Guemes Channel to Seattle, April 12, 2013. Photo: Dennis Clark/DNR

Late Friday afternoon, the Washington State Legislature gave their seal of approval to legislation that strengthens the Washington State Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) Derelict Vessel Removal Program while alleviating the taxpayers’ burden.

Both houses have passed the bill, ESHB 1245. The next step is for the House to concur on Senate amendments to the bill. Then, the bill will proceed to the Governor’s Office for signature.

Before the bill was introduced this legislative session, DNR met with stakeholders to listen to their ideas on how to address the growing problem of derelict and abandoned vessels in Washington’s waters. We met with many diverse groups, but everyone shared a common concern for the health and safety of our state’s waterways.

Stakeholders included legislators; recreational boaters; tribal governments; shellfish growers; local, state, and federal agencies; commercial fishing industry representatives; marine trade associations; ports; and conservation groups.

Thanks to everyone who participated in these discussions. And a big thanks to the legislators who worked so hard to pass this vital bill.

Learn more about DNR’s Derelict Vessel Removal Program.

The following selection of media coverage about recent derelict vessel crises illustrates the need to strengthen the state’s derelict vessel program:

Follow DNR on: Facebook Fan See us on Flickr Watch us YouTube Follow us on Twitter Follow DNR Fire Twitter Join in the DNR Forum