Abandoned boats are piling up on Virginia’s waters

Data shows there are more than 200 abandoned vessels across the Commonwealth

Abandoned boats are littering Virginia and is impacting the economy.

SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE, Va. – Abandoned boats are littering Virginia and are impacting the economy, people’s safety and wildlife habitats.

Between data from the U.S. Coast Guard and reports from local marinas, there are more than 200 abandoned vessels across the Commonwealth.

In the last year, about 10 abandoned boats were reported at Smith Mountain Lake.

Clean Virginia Waterways Executive Director Katie Register said it can cost between $14,000 to $35,000 to properly dispose of a boat.

But marinas may be paying a higher fee if abandoned boats take up their space or worse cause damage.

“One of the marinas at Smith Mountain Lake, a boat sunk,” Register said. “And as it sunk it pulled down part of their infrastructure. So, now they’ve got damaged docks that now they need to find who’s responsible for that.”

Clean Virginia Waterways of Longwood University and the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program are working together to find ways to reduce disposal costs for boat owners, whether through a state-funded program or providing more readily-accessible information about landfill fees.


About the Author:

Alexus joined 10 News in October 2020.