FWC announces completion of the removal of 24 derelict vessels from the Florida Keys

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The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) announced today the removal of 24 derelict vessels from various locations throughout the Upper and Lower Keys is now complete.

“Derelict vessels are a priority for our officers statewide and especially in Monroe County,” said FWC Area Capt. David Dipre. “Each one taken off the water is a win for everyone.”

The removals, which were estimated to take six months, were completed ahead of schedule.

“We’ve been able to speed up removals due to recent legislative changes along with the funding appropriated by the Legislature and a committed partner in Monroe County,” said Maj. Rob Beaton, FWC Boating and Waterways section leader. “The results we’ve been able to achieve with Monroe County show how these efforts have improved the process and we’re not stopping with these 24 vessels. There are more to come.”

The FWC has approved an additional grant request for 30 more derelict vessels that are currently being removed throughout Monroe County. The agency is also reviewing a third grant request to remove an additional 25 derelict vessels.

More derelict vessels are removed from Monroe County each year than any other area of the state. As of February 2022, law enforcement has documented more than 185 derelict vessels within Monroe County in the FWC’s derelict vessel database.

“These combined efforts are a testament of our commitment – along with our city and county partners – to restore the waterways to safer conditions for both the boating public and marine life,” said Maj. Beaton.

For more information regarding derelict, abandoned and at-risk vessels, visit MyFWC.com/boating and click on “Derelict Vessels”

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