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Abandoned Boats litter MD waterways...
Saw a boat in Fairlee Creek last weekend on the shore abandoned...sad sight indeed
From the Baltimore Sun Paper:
Abandoned boats litter Md. waterways, with few resources to remove them
Owners overwhelmed by upkeep, and difficult to track down
"This is dumping on waterways enjoyed by Maryland residents and wildlife," he said. "We should all take it personally when someone infringes on our environment. A responsible owner takes care of the boat from beginning to end, including proper disposal."
In Middle River, Miller and others have repeatedly pinpointed locations for state and county officials hoping those hulks might be hauled away.
"The county has really dropped the ball with these boats that have been problems for years," Miller said.
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A letter to Miller from the county Department of Environmental Protection and Resource Management says, "We understand these vessels present a negative aesthetic impact to the community. Unfortunately, they have been a low priority for removal."
"It would only take one strong storm like Hurricane Isabel to push these old boats out into the channel," Miller said.
The county keeps several contract haulers on call and pays an average of $5,000 to remove a derelict boat, Croswell said. But costs go up if a contractor has to bring in cranes and barges. Some boat materials can be recycled, but many of the sodden remains end up in landfills — which accept only small craft that are stripped of engines and hazardous materials.
There are few options for disposing of larger boats.
Miller and Ken Higgins, seasoned boaters who cruise the rivers and creeks in eastern Baltimore County, know where owners have abandoned ships or cast a power cruiser or sailboat adrift to slowly spill its contents into waters where others fish, crab and swim.
"This is not just sad — it's an embarrassment for the boating community," said Miller.
Higgins, who lives on Sue Creek, can easily navigate his 20-foot Scout in the narrow waterways, many surrounded by newly constructed upscale waterfront homes. He can give the location, dimensions and make of most abandoned watercraft.
"I can name at least a dozen just around Middle River," he said.
Rick King, fellow Middle River resident and boater, called the growing number of derelict vessels outrageous.
"They won't let a junk car sit on the road, but a sunken boat can hang around for years," he said. "There are a lot more junked cars than boats."
Miller has lived in his home at the headwaters of Middle River for 12 years, and for nearly all that time he has battled the derelict boat issue. Most of his neighbors on the river are responsible owners who keep well-maintained boats at their piers. Many local residents swim in the shallower end of the river. The waterlogged beams of those three abandoned boats a few hundred yards away could break apart and create havoc for boaters and swimmers, he said.
"Where are the resources to rid the waters of these eyesores and hazards?" Miller asked.
Despite all his lobbying, he does not see the problem ending any time soon.
"This problem has gone on for years," Miller said. "People go into boating on a shoestring without realizing what the upkeep is."
Tartan 37 - S/V Windgeist
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Last edited by T37Chef; 07-21-2010 at 07:43 PM.