Maryland Abandoned Boat and Debris Program

Abandoned boats and debris in state waterways can pose a hazard to navigation and to the environment. As part of its commitment to clean, safe and enjoyable recreational boating on Maryland waterways, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) provides reimbursable grants and expertise to assist public agencies in the removal of abandoned boats and hazardous debris from state waters.

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Funds for the program come from the state Waterway Improvement Fund which is generated from the one time 5% excise tax paid to the State when a boat is purchased and titled in Maryland.

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An abandoned vessel as defined in Natural Resources Article §8-721(a), Annotated Code of Maryland is a vessel that has remained at a location without the owner or person in control of the property's consent:

  • More than 30 days on public property, including public marinas, docks, or boatyards
  • More than 30 days at a private dock or near water's edge on private property
  • More than 90 days at a private marina or boatyard or property operated by a private marina or boatyard
  • More than 180 days at private property other than those described above

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The last known, registered owner shown on the Certificate of Title issued under §8-715 of the Annotated Code of Maryland shall be considered Prima Facie owner of a vessel at the time it was abandoned and the person who abandoned it.

  • Any person who violates any provision of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor. Upon conviction, the person is subject to a fine not exceeding $1,000 or imprisonment not exceeding six months, or both.
  • Any person found guilty of a second or subsequent violation of provision of this section is subject to a fine not exceeding $2,000 or imprisonment not exceeding one year, or both.
  • Any person who violates any provision of this section is liable to the State for the cost of removal of the vessel.
  • The provisions of this section do not apply to a vessel wrecked through an Act of God or negligence of a third party.


by Maryland.gov

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Sunday, 21 April 2024

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