Richardson Bay agency receives new influx of funds

The Richardson’s Bay regional agency will continue to receive key state funding to help with the disposal and destruction of abandoned ships.

The $ 220,500 funding comes from the California Department of Boating and Waterways Abandoned and Abandoned Vessel Exchange Grant.

Jim Malcolm, the acting harbor master, said the grant is a recurring source of funding that the agency applies to and typically receives annually. It funds the voluntary surrender program, where end-of-life vessels can be returned and destroyed at no cost to the owner, he said. It is also used to cover the cost of abatement of abandoned or abandoned ships without using agency funds.

Malcolm said sailors often face the high price of disposing of an end-of-life ship. Ships can end up as marine debris that must be cleaned up before threatening the environment.

The state grant helps reimburse the agency for tasks such as vessel and hazardous material removal, towing the agency to landfill, demolition, and disposal.

“Unfortunately, too few boat owners are aware of this subsidy and many end up funding the disposal of the vessels out of their own pockets,” said Malcolm. “Very often when people are referred to us for this program, they are very surprised that it exists. We frequently make public awareness efforts to get this word out. “

The grant requires a 10% matching fund requirement through in-kind contributions from the Richardson Bay agency. The grant is executed through reimbursement by the state when the agency incurs costs for the disposal of the vessels.

The $ 220,500 will be included in the 2022-2023 budget and will be available until September 2023.

Steve McGrath, the agency’s acting executive director, said the funds are provided on a two-year cycle. He said the 2021-2022 budget is $ 1.336 million, which includes $ 400,000 in divested and abandoned vessel swap grants provided in 2020.

Jorge Moreno, a state parks official in California, said the Richardson Bay agency has been receiving the grants since 2000.

“The Recreational Boating and Waterways Division supports RBRA’s efforts to remove abandoned vessels that create a navigational hazard in Richardson Bay and to promote the Returned Vessel Program which helps prevent abandoned vessels. Moreno said. “The grants help provide funding to help cover the costs of removing and destroying vessels that may pose a threat to navigation and the destruction of returned vessels.”

The Marin County Board of Directors recently approved a six-month contract extension for Malcolm, the deputy harbor master. He’s been in charge since Curtis Havel resigned last month.

The contract extension runs until June 30.

The agency is a joint authority of the county, Mill Valley, Sausalito, Tiburon and Belvedere powers.

Malcolm said after the storm on October 24, six ships drifted from the anchorage and two ships sank. Of the six that drifted, two ran aground at the Richardson Bay Audubon Center and Sanctuary, three ships landed on the Tiburon shore, and one vessel made contact with residential property on the west shore of Belvedere.

The two sunk ships were removed by the agency, Malcolm said. They were posted with abatement notices, but the owners did not contact the agency. Malcolm said the ships that sank did so without injury or loss of life.

McGrath said the cleanup of the sunk ships was funded by the state grant.

“If it is necessary for us to destroy a boat if it is not a commercial vessel, SAVE funds are applied to that,” he said.

The remaining ships were either brought back to anchorage or stored at the Army Corps of Engineers debris dock, Malcolm said.

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