Today, the Indian River County (IRC) Public Works Coastal Engineering Division announced that four derelict vessels were removed from the Indian River Lagoon in Sebastian and Vero Beach.
Officers from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) had investigated the vessels and determined the vessels as derelict as defined in sections 705.101 (3) and 823.11, Florida Statutes. The derelict vessel designation from FWC allows for the removal and disposal of the vessels.
The County’s Public Works Coastal Division contracted for the removal of these vessels, improving boating safety by removing these hazards to navigation. Derelict vessels can be unpleasant to look at, but their removal also prevents further physical damage to the lagoon floor and shoreline habitats.
The FWC Derelict Vessel Removal Program provides opportunities for municipalities to seek grant money that reimburses up to 100% of the costs associated with the removal effort.
Indian River County’s grant application received funding approval from FWC in the amount of $8,150 for a Bulk Derelict Vessel Removal Grant to remove these four derelict vessels from the Indian River Lagoon. CCNK LLC was selected as the County’s contractor to perform the removal and disposal of the derelict vessels.
On April 20, 2021, the Board of County Commissioners signed the grant agreement. Once approved, County staff arranged for derelict vessel removal and disposal.
The removal process wrapped up on Friday, May 28. The vessels were removed and disposed of using a combination of floats and heavy equipment while adhering to FWC Best Management Practices.