Skip to main content

Abandoned and Derelict Vessels and Camping

Abandon and Derelict vessels

Abandoned and Derelict vessels cause many environmental concerns and impacts, including oil and fuel spills, release of asbestos and other toxic chemicals, all of which pollute waterways and make them unsafe for the environment and the public. They also hinder navigation and restrict public access. The remediation and removal of vessels takes coordination from many state and federal agencies, local governments and community partners.

Unpermitted camping on state-owned lands

The Oregon Department of State Lands has recently seen an increase in complaints surrounding non-permitted camping on state-owned lands adjacent to waterways. Such unauthorized use has led to multiple requests from upland property owners for closures of these lands due to the resulting degradation of public lands and the impairment of public use due to health and safety issues. Concerns include biohazards, trash, and personal property being left at these camping sites.

A connected issue with affordable housing

Many unauthorized vessels, in various stages of disrepair, are occupied by persons who would otherwise be without shelter. There are many issues and challenges in terms of a person’s health and safety living on the water in an unauthorized vessel. There are also legal issues regarding noticing occupants and the removal of personal property.

ADVAC action

DSL recently initiated an interagency team to address ADVAC issues. Agency staff currently participate in local and regional working groups focused on the development of coordinated and comprehensive strategies to address the problem. Despite this valuable increase in cooperation with state/local governments, law enforcement and social services providers, current resources are not enough.

The agency recently established several emergency use restrictions and camping closures and is currently working on rulemaking for the closure of additional lands. However, it is challenging to permanently relocate persons occupying state-owned lands.


Meliah Masiba, Legislative & Policy Analyst,
Ali Ryan Hansen, Communications Manager,

Your browser is out-of-date! It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how