The Scrappy Doo, an abandoned boat in the waters of Kitty Hawk Woods. (North Carolina Coastal Federation)

The Scrappy Doo, an abandoned boat in the waters of Kitty Hawk Woods. (North Carolina Coastal Federation)

There are a lot of abandoned boats the waters of the Outer Banks. They don’t have the panache or mystery that surrounds a wreck resting at the bottom of the sea. Or even the Pappy’s Lane shipwreck in the shallow waters off Rodanthe.

Honestly? They’re kind of an eyesore—and a hazard to navigation. Slowly rotting and settling into the mud beneath them, their last owners have simply walked away from them.

Local towns and the Dare and Currituck Counties have ordinances on their books declaring the boats salvage, but cleaning them up is expensive and time-consuming.

Which is why the recent grant the North Carolina Coastal Federation announced is so important.

The grant from NOAA is part of their Marine Debris Program and will allow the Coastal Federation to work in partnership with Dare County and the NC Division of Coastal Management (CAMA).

What the Grant Will Do

The grant provides funds to remove 20 abandoned boats. The guidelines call for the removal of boats that may harm oyster reefs, submerged aquatic vegetation, and coastal wetlands.

The hope is that by removing the derelict boats habitat for fish and wildlife will be improved.

Another goal of the grant is to act as a pilot program for other sites. The hope is that the cooperative guideline of the grant can be replicated in other locations.

Plans call for removal of the vessels to begin soon—this fall. It’s anticipated that the program will run for onto two years.

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