Orange County Vessel Turn-in Program Begins April 6

in Government

In an initiative aimed at curbing the abandonment of derelict boats and enhancing environmental stewardship, the Texas General Land Office (GLO) is once again launching its annual Vessel Turn-In Program (VTIP). This statewide effort encourages owners of inoperable or unwanted boats to responsibly dispose of them at no cost, with several events planned across the state, including in Orange County.

The upcoming VTIP event in Orange County is scheduled for April 6, 9, 11, and 13, 2024, running from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day, as announced by the Texas GLO. Boat owners are invited to bring their “derelict or inoperable” vessels to the designated collection station at 11265 FM 1442 in Orange County. From there, the county will oversee the transportation of the boats to disposal sites, while the GLO will handle the removal of all hazardous materials, including fuel, oil, and batteries, from the boats.

To participate in the program, boat owners must ensure their vessels are free of waste, debris, and trash prior to drop-off. Additionally, they are required to provide verification of ownership, a Release of Interest and Ownership form, and confirm that the boat’s title is clear of any loans, liens, or taxes. Importantly, owners are responsible for transporting their own boats to the turn-in site. Boats exceeding the 26-foot length restriction may still be considered for disposal on a case-by-case basis, and owners of such vessels are encouraged to contact the GLO at (409) 727-7481 for more information.

Since its inception in 2015, the VTIP has hosted 39 events across various Texas coastal counties, resulting in the turn-in of 1,562 “derelict and inoperable boats.” Collectively, these boats measure over 25,394 linear feet, equivalent to the length of more than 70 football fields. The program not only facilitates the removal of unsightly and potentially hazardous vessels but also recovers significant quantities of fuel for safe disposal. For instance, the 2023 event in Orange County saw the turn-in of 113 boats, totaling 1,173 linear feet, and the recovery of 143 gallons of fuel. In a similar event in Jefferson County in May 2022, nine boats were turned in, totaling 156 linear feet, with 40 gallons of fuel recovered.

The GLO emphasizes that abandoning a wrecked, derelict, or substantially dismantled boat in coastal waters, or on public or private land, is illegal in Texas. Through the VTIP, the GLO offers a lawful and environmentally responsible alternative for disposing of such vessels, underscoring the state’s commitment to its coastal ecosystems and maritime heritage.

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