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Abandoned and Derelict Vessels

Large rusted military vessel with the name Tiffany on the side.There are hundreds of abandoned and derelict vessels on Oregon’s rivers, lakes, and territorial sea, including large vessels like tugboats, barges and former military vessels as well as recreational vessels like sailboats and motorboats.

Abandoned and derelict vessels can seriously threaten the health and safety of Oregon-owned waterways. Water contamination, navigation hazards, and damage to public and private property are among the potential problems caused by abandoned and derelict vessels. Further, these unauthorized vessels can prevent other members of the public from using the waterway. 


Addressing Abandoned and Derelict Vessels

The Department of State Lands collaborates with our state, federal, and community partners to reduce the impacts of abandoned and derelict vessels, address waterway hazards, promote responsible use of our waters, and collaborate toward long term solutions to prevent the addition of more ADVs to Oregon-owned waters.

Abandoned and derelict vessels are prioritized and removed when possible and funding is available. Significant resources are required to remove vessels from waterways and pay for the costs of salvage, transportation, hazardous materials abatement, dismantling, and disposal. There can be high and unforeseen expenses along the way. Many recreational vessels cost thousands to remove, while former commercial or former military vessels can be millions of dollars.

Abandoned vessels are those that have been left on Oregon-owned​ land or a waterway for an extended period of time without an authorization​ are considered abandoned. Oregon’s limited duration rules OAR 141-088-0002(6), OAR 141-082-0255(43) restrict the amount of time a vessel can stay in a given spot.
  • ​Recreational vessels cannot stay in one location for more than 30 consecutive days. Once they have exceeded that time period, they must move to another location that is at least five miles away. Further, they cannot moor their vessel within that five-mile area for a 12-month period.
  • For commercial vessels, this timeline is shortened to 14 days.

Derelict vessels are those boats in varying stages of disrepair that may pose a significant threat to human safety, environmental health, or waterway navigation are considered derelict. These boats may have sunk, be in immediate danger of sinking, or pose an environmental threat.​​

 

Convening an ADV Workgroup and Establishing a Statewide Program
The Department has convened a workgroup of partners and community members to advise on key elements of a statewide program to address ADVs in Oregon waterways. The twenty-four members of the ADV Workgroup (see roster) bring a wide variety of perspectives and expertise, including ports, marinas, waterway recreation, environmental protection, vessel salvage, and local government. 

The Department of State Lands is creating a new statewide program to address hazardous vessels across Oregon, and we want your feedback on the proposed program framework (download here)​.


This framework captures key challenges that must be addressed as well as commitments for the Department in establishing the new program over the coming years. It will guide the work of staff and partners for near-term action and long-term solutions.

Questions? Contact Josh Mulhollem at joshua.mulhollem@dsl.oregon.gov​​

​​​​Meetings will be noticed one week in advance. Subscribe to "Abandoned and derelict vessels" mailing list to receive these updates. ​

HOW TO ATTEND
Meeting ID: 870 5528 1706​​​
Join online - click here​ (Passcode: Or3gonADV!)
Join by phone: 1-669-900-6833 (Passcode: 0557301252​)​​​

Workgroup meetings are open to the community and meeting agendas include a designated time for c​ommunity comment.​​​

MEETING #9​
Tuesday, March 19, 2024 at 1 - 3 PM (Pacific)

  • ​​Meeting materials to come

MEETING #10​
Tuesday, April 16, 2024 at 1 - 3 PM (Pacific)

  • Meeting materials to come​​
​On behalf of the State Land Board, the Department of State Lands manages Oregon’s public waterways to ensure use for recreation, navigation, fishing, commerce and more. Abandoned and derelict vessels seriously affect the health and safety of our public waterways by creating both environmental and navigational hazards. Removing vessels from waterways will address current risks, but removal must also be accompanied by long-term solutions.

​​At the direction of the State Land Board in April 2023, the Department of State Lands began working to propose a comprehensive ADV program for Oregon, including identifying funding needs and potential sources. 

With the passage of HB 2914 in June 2023​​, we can begin work now to address the vessels that have accumulated in our waterways and collaborate on creating a statewide ADV program in coordination with our agency partners at Oregon State Marine Board, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, and Department of Environmental Quality: see our ADV joint-agency ​information brief (PDF)​.​

These efforts will be informed by community conversations, the ADV Workgroup, and will be aligned with the collaborative 2020 findings from the ADV Blue Ribbon Program for Western U.S. States​ ​led by the State of Oregon, State of Washington and many partners.​​​
Reducing Abandoned and Derelict Vessels on Oregon’s Waters
Boat owners and marinas can help protect Oregon-owned waterways and prevent new abandoned and derelict vessels from entering Oregon-owned waters. Here are some ways you can help:
  • Thinking about buying a boat? Research annual maintenance needs before making a purchase. Estimate the cost of regular repairs, tune-ups, and moorage fees and assess whether this fits into your budget and priorities.
  • Already own a boat? Make sure you’re staying on top of needed repairs. That’s the best way to fix an issue before it becomes a bigger problem.
  • Own or manage a marina? Take action to help support clean, safe waterways by becoming certified as an Oregon Clean Marina with the Oregon State Marine Board.

Partners and Coordination

Much of this work is accomplished with the help of our state-wide partners including the City of Portland, Metro Regional Government, Port of Portland, SOLVE, Multnomah County Sheriff's Office, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, Oregon State Police, Oregon State Marine Board, City of Eugene, Department of Environmental Quality, U.S. Coast Guard, Willamette Riverkeepers, Waterfront Organizations of Oregon, and others. The Department also works with social services for cases in which vessels are being used for shelter.
 
We continue to seek out new partnerships across the state to grow the reach of our work and spread available resources to the community.

Join Regional Conversations

Metro Abandoned and Derelict Vessels and Camping is a working group of community members, local business owners, partner state agencies, local governments, and other stakeholders that come together to discuss abandoned and derelict vessels and long-term camping within the Portland Metro area. The group seeks to share information about vessels of concern, improve partner coordination, leverage resources, and prioritize actions.
 
Quarterly meetings take place virtually via Microsoft Teams. Contact DSL to request to join a future MADVAC meeting.

CONTACT

Josh Mulhollem, Waterways Stewardship Manager
Joshua.Mulhollem@dsl.oregon.gov

Report a Vessel

  Vessels that are actively sinking or pose an immediate safety threat: Dial 911

  Vessels that are actively sheening oil or other chemicals: Call the National Response Center, 1(800)424-8802, or 911

  Report all other vessels of concern to DSL


Resources

  Limited duration rules: OAR 141-088-0002(6), OAR 141-082-0255(43)

  Recreational boating restrictions: Oregon State Marine Board

  Oregon ADV laws: ORS 830.908 – 948, OAR 141-082-0310

  Become a vendor and register for OregonBuys


Notice of Vessel Seizures

There are no recent vessel seizures to report.