NewsProtecting Paradise


Derelict boats, leaking fuel causing problems in South Florida waters

Posted at 9:56 AM, Jan 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-10 18:12:02-05

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — People from all over the world come to South Florida to boat on our pristine waters.

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However, from Palm Beach County to the Treasure Coast, our waters may be in danger from boats left behind.

If you head on the Lake Worth Lagoon with Greg Reynolds, you’ll quickly find out that every boat has a story. At least what’s left of them.

"This vessel went down nine months ago," said Reynolds, pointing out a submerged boat near Phil Foster Park.

Reynolds is with Lagoon Keepers, a non-profit which aims to remove abandoned boats.

He said there are 40 boats still on the intracoastal waiting to be removed and they’re harming our waters.

"Currents push around both ends of the boat and rips the seagrass out," said Reynolds, who added that fuel can also leak out as well.

Reynolds has removed hundreds of boats over the years.

"Close to a hundred boats just in this area," said Reynolds, pointing to the Peanut Island area.

Carman Vare with Palm Beach County Environmental Resources Management said these boats harm our paradise.

"Something like this takes away from that," said Vare, pointing to another derelict boat at Currie Park in West Palm Beach.

There’s another problem here: it’s not as easy as it looks to remove these boats.

"Takes a while to find out who owns the vessel," said Vare.

Reynolds said he will continue working to protect our paradise until all the derelict boats are gone.

"Value is not what we find in the water," said Reynolds. "The value is the water itself."