More than a dozen sunken and abandoned vessels will be on their way out of Galveson Bay starting tomorrow thanks to a renewed effort to rid the water of hazardous material.
It’s the second phase of an effort by the Galveston Bay Foundation. The first one last August pulled five old boats out of Dickenson Bay near San Leon. The new effort will be larger and include a number of areas along the western edge of Galveston Bay. The Bay Foundation’s Bob Stokes says a total of 14 vessels, including a barge and a number of old fishing boats, will be removed from the water.
A marine debris contractor will use an elaborate system to remove the old boats from the bay and haul them away to an approved dump site. They’ll use a crane on a barge, booms to prevent leakage and divers under the water to pick the vessels apart.
Stokes says the boats have either been left by their owners on purpose or have washed out during storms. He says the old boats need to go. “First and foremost it can impact water quality. It impedes water circulation, plus it can have residual petroleum products leaking from these abandoned debris items,” says Stokes. “Sometimes these debris items are very apparent, they’re well above the high water line, but occasionally these things just kind of poke out through the water and can certainly present a hazard to boaters and personal watercraft as well.”
The second phase of the project will cost around $200,000, with funding from the Texas General Land Office’s Coastal Impact Assistance Program.