FWC begins removal of derelict vessels from Levy County

Photos available: https://cop.kr/s/aHBqjzVCz2

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

Five vessels are to be removed from the Withlacoochee River, with one being removed under a Citrus County removal contract. Another vessel, a concrete-hulled shrimp vessel that has been there for over 20 years, will be removed from the Wacassassa River. Six other derelict vessels will be removed from the waterways surrounding Cedar Key.

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

“The ‘Miss Katherine’ has been derelict for several years and is clogging the Withlacoochee River,” explained Lieutenant Robert JohnstonFWC area lieutenant in Levy County.

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

The DV Suppression Project in Levy County is funded by an FWC Direct Suppression Project, using funding that can only be used by FWC to contract suppression projects.

“We also have another program where local governments can apply for grants to remove derelict vessels. This was exhausted for fiscal year 21/22; however, we are now accepting applications from local governments for the FY22/23 budget. This funding will be available starting July 1 for local DV removal grants,” said Phil HornFWC Boating and Waterways.

FWC and local governments will continue to remove derelict vessels statewide at the same time. With both processes operating simultaneously, more derelict ship removals can take place across the state.

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

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