Friday, July 19, 2024

BoatUS Foundation Opens Grant Program for National Effort to Clean Up US Waterways


The Boat Owners Association of the United States (BoatUS) Foundation is seeking qualified, diverse and experienced organizations to submit projects for funding in a nationwide effort to remove abandoned and neglected boats from US waterways.

The massive cleanup effort to remove abandoned and derelict vessels (ADV) in US coastal waterways and the Great Lakes is fueled by a four-year, US$10 million (~€9.3 million) grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Marine Debris Program with funding provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Applicants are encouraged to submit a letter of intent between June 10th and August 12th, 2024.

ADVs litter ports, waterways, and estuaries all over the country and can cause major problems, according to BoatUS. These boats can crush or smother sensitive plants and corals, sink or move during coastal storms, threaten safe navigation and contribute to economic losses.

Removing ADVs is a costly effort, often averaging more than $24,000 (~€23,000) to remove a single boat. For many communities, there may be no local funding for removal of vessels, and navigating complicated funding programs can be challenging for communities with limited time or resources.

According to BoatUS Foundation Director of Outreach and Grant Program Director Alanna Keating:

“We’re excited about building upon our years of experience with ADV removals. This is a unique program that is open to any organization, nonprofit or for-profit, as well as local, state, territorial, tribal, and regional government agencies. Some of our focus will be seeking underserved or marginalized communities that don’t have the local resources to rid their shores of abandoned and derelict vessels.”

While Nancy Wallace, director of the NOAA Marine Debris Program, said:

“Abandoned and derelict vessels are a widespread problem across the United States. We are pleased to partner with the BoatUS Foundation to maximize our impact, while reducing the accumulation of costly and damaging debris in our ports, waterways, and coasts.”

BoatUS said priority will be given to projects that include input from and benefit tribal, underserved, or low-income communities; demonstrate strong community support; benefit marine animals and their habitats, local coastal communities, and/or local economies; and include local outreach and education activities directed toward the boating community and general public to prevent abandoned and derelict vessels.

For more info on how to apply along with the grant guidelines, go to

John Liang
John Liang
John Liang is the News Editor at He first got the diving bug while in High School in Cairo, Egypt, where he earned his PADI Open Water Diver certification in the Red Sea off the Sinai Peninsula. Since then, John has dived in a volcanic lake in Guatemala, among white-tipped sharks off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and other places including a pool in Las Vegas helping to break the world record for the largest underwater press conference.