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KBB: support for clearing rotting, abandoned vessels ‘heart-warming’

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A clean-up campaign has cleared more than 50 abandoned boats from the island’s waters in the past seven months.

The Abandoned Boats project was launched by the environmental charity Keep Bermuda Beautiful in conjunction with the Government, and raised more than $150,000 to fund the programme.

But there is still work to be done — a further 30 wrecks have yet to be pulled ashore and dismantled.

One of the abandoned boats removed by KBB (photograph supplied)

Ten craft were removed from Stovell Bay at Spanish Point Park in a single day last week. Several more were pulled from Duck’s Puddle around the same time.

Other removals will continue throughout the month and into the new year. It is expected that the remaining vessels will be removed by next spring.

Amy Shillingford, the project leader, said: “On behalf of KBB, we are extremely grateful for the support of our donors and project partners.

“The cost of extracting and safely disposing of the vessels already approved for removal exceeds $150,000, all of which has been generously funded by individual and corporate donations.

“The community’s passion for preserving Bermuda’s delicate marine environment and cleaning up environmental hazards caused by these sunken, rotting and beached vessels is truly heart-warming.

A sunken boat that was removed by KBB (photograph supplied)

“Our community and our culture are so closely connected to the ocean it’s only right that we each do our best to take care of it.”

She added: “Numerous residents have reached out to us to share their delight that these long-forgotten wrecks are being removed from local docks and bays.

“The removals not only enhance Bermuda’s beauty, but also make the water safer for boaters, swimmers and marine life."

One of the boats taken away in a clean-up of abandoned vessels by KBB. (Photograph supplied)

The charity worked in conjunction with another charity, the Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce, to identify the wrecks before getting approval from the Government to have them removed.

A KBB spokeswoman said: “Together, we aim to proactively address the root causes of boats being abandoned or left in a derelict state.

“A working group has been looking into how other jurisdictions deal with the issues associated with abandoned and derelict boats.

“Through this research, we are preparing a number of draft recommendations to be presented for Government’s consideration to potentially stop the problems before they start.

“Over the past year, Government has provided approvals for the removal of 85 abandoned or derelict boats and other vessels identified through this project.

“Removing and safely disposing of two thirds of these vessels over the past seven months is a major achievement for the project team.

“KBB thanks the donors, project partners and others for supporting the Abandoned Boat Project. It’s a prime example of KBB’s mission to reduce waste, eliminate litter and beautify the island through action and education.”

Additional surveys to identify more abandoned and derelict vessels will commence in the new year. This is expected to lead to additional removals after the notification and approvals process is complete.

To learn more about KBB’s work, click here or call 799 5142.

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Published December 20, 2022 at 4:02 pm (Updated December 21, 2022 at 1:27 am)

KBB: support for clearing rotting, abandoned vessels ‘heart-warming’

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