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BoatUS Foundation opens Grant Program for $7.5M effort to remove ADVs from nation's waterways

by BoatUS 10 Jun 23:16 UTC
Derelict sailboat just outside Beaufort Harbor. BoatUS Foundation NOAA Grant to remove derelict vessels and fishing nets from Beaufort Harbor in Beaufort, North Carolina. November 2018 working with TowBoatUS Beaufort © BoatUS Foundation

From June 10-August 12, organizations are invited to apply for grant funding to clean up their local waterways


In a nationwide effort to remove abandoned and neglected boats from our nation's waterways, the Boat Owners Association of the United States (BoatUS) Foundation is seeking qualified, diverse and experienced organizations to submit projects for funding. The massive cleanup effort to remove abandoned and derelict vessels (ADV) in U.S. coastal waterways and the Great Lakes is fueled by a four-year, $10 million grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Marine Debris Program with funding provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Applicants are encouraged to submit a letter of intent between June 10 and August 12.

ADVs litter ports, waterways, and estuaries all over the country and can cause major problems. These boats can crush or smother sensitive plants and corals, sink or move during coastal storms, threaten safe navigation, and contribute to economic losses. Removing ADVs is a costly effort, often averaging more than $24,000 to remove a single boat. For many communities, there may be no local funding for removal of vessels, and navigating complicated funding programs can be challenging for communities with limited time or resources. This is why the BoatUS Foundation grant program is so important.

"We're excited about building upon our years of experience with ADV removals," said BoatUS Foundation Director of Outreach and Grant Program Director, Alanna Keating. "This is a unique program that is open to any organization, nonprofit or for-profit, as well as local, state, territorial, tribal, and regional government agencies. Some of our focus will be seeking underserved or marginalized communities that don't have the local resources to rid their shores of abandoned and derelict vessels."

"Abandoned and derelict vessels are a widespread problem across the United States," said Nancy Wallace, Director of the NOAA Marine Debris Program. "We are pleased to partner with the BoatUS Foundation to maximize our impact, while reducing the accumulation of costly and damaging debris in our ports, waterways, and coasts."


The goal of the BoatUS Foundation program is to improve U.S. coastal and Great Lakes waters affected by ADVs and create a first-of-its-kind national online database to track ADV location and removal efforts. By removing the associated pollution, navigation and safety hazards ADVs can cause in waters for years, the 20-75 awardees of this grant program will have a lasting, positive impact on the environment and our waters locally and nationally for years to come.


Organizations are invited to apply for ADV removal funds by submitting a letter of intent that answers the following questions:

  • Body of water from which the debris will be removed
  • The purpose of the project and the planned steps to complete it
  • Anticipated outcomes of the project on the environment and the community
  • How diversity, equity, justice and inclusion will be part of the project
  • Project budget and expenses to be covered by the grant funding
  • Authorizations and/or permits needed to complete the work

Priority will be given to projects that include input from and benefit tribal, underserved, or low-income communities; demonstrate strong community support; benefit marine animals and their habitats, local coastal communities, and/or local economies; and include local outreach and education activities directed toward the boating community and general public to prevent abandoned and derelict vessels.

More information on how to apply and grant guidelines can be found here.

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