Derelict Vessel Removal Program


Kitsap County is developing a county-wide derelict vessel removal program in concert with the Washington Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) existing Derelict Vessel Program that will serve the cities and port districts within Kitsap County. Kitsap County received grant funding through the National Estuary Program Habitat Strategic Initiative, administered by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife & Washington Department of Natural Resources, to develop this program. 

Throughout 2024-2026, Kitsap County will facilitate regular meetings with stakeholders, including port districts, law enforcement agencies, and local government officials to develop a local derelict vessel program that utilizes the resources available through DNR's program.

Kitsap County hosts extensive marine shoreline and tidelands, twelve port districts, numerous piers and marinas, and four incorporated cities. Kitsap is rich in maritime culture, it supports commercial fishing and aquaculture industries, and is a destination for recreational anglers and boaters. The shoreline and nearshore areas contribute to the health and wellbeing of residents and visitors alike; however, abandoned and derelict vessels frequently mark that shoreline and pose hazards for boaters and anglers while negatively impacting water quality and habitat. 

Derelict and abandoned vessels impact the marine bed and submerged aquatic vegetation by grounding out and dragging anchors along the seabed.  Water quality contamination from spills and leaching associated with these vessels impacts the quality of shellfish harvested by local tribes.

One of the challenges associated with the current Derelict and Abandoned Vessel Program offered through DNR is that there are difficulties tracking vessels across jurisdictions. By including cities in the coordination, communication, and tracking process, the County’s program will help mitigate this issue, which was identified by law enforcement as a barrier to effective enforcement of the program. 

Stay tuned for more updates regarding this ongoing project. 

Related Links

Brittany Gordon, Project Manager 

(360) 801-6240


614 Division Street - MS36
Port Orchard, WA 98366

Office Location 

619 Division Street
Port Orchard, Washington


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