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FWC begins removal of derelict vessels from Levy County

Media contact: Karen Parker, 386-872-0831 Release Date: 06-29-2022   All Articles Tags:

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The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) announced today that a total of 12 derelict vessels will be removed from the waterways of Levy County.

There are five vessels to be removed from the Withlacoochee River, with one of those being removed on a Citrus County removal contract. Another vessel, a concrete hull shrimp boat that has been there for more than 20 years, will be taken out of the Wacassassa River. Another six derelict vessels will be removed from the waterways surrounding Cedar Key.

Work began June 21 with the removal of the “Miss Katherine,” a 38-foot shrimp boat.

“The ‘Miss Katherine’ has been derelict for several years and has been obstructing the Withlacoochee River,” explained Lt. Robert Johnston, FWC area lieutenant in Levy County.

The contractor removing the vessels is Sammy Royal with Sea Tow in Horseshoe Beach.

The DV Removal Project in Levy County is being funded by an FWC Direct Removal Project, using funding that may only be used by FWC to contract removal projects.

“We also have another program where local governments can apply for grants to remove derelict vessels. This has been exhausted for FY 21/22; however, we are now accepting local government applications for the FY 22/23 budget. This funding will be available beginning July 1 for local DV removal grants,” said Phil Horning, FWC Boating and Waterways.

Both FWC and local governments will continue to remove derelict vessels throughout the state at the same time. With both processes working simultaneously, more derelict vessels removals can occur throughout the state.

“I’ve been assigned to Levy County for the past 17 years and some of these vessels were here before I arrived,” said Johnston. “Seeing these derelict vessels finally removed means so much to me and my crew. I’m glad to see these go.”