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Inslee signs bill to strengthen derelict vessel prevention program

OLYMPIA – The state Department of Natural Resources will receive additional funding to address derelict vessels under a measure signed by Gov. Jay Inslee this week.

Senate Bill 6528, sponsored by Sen. Liz Lovelett (D-Anacortes), will increase investments in the Derelict Vessel Removal Program (DVRP) – the state’s key mechanism for addressing the problem of sunken or neglected boats in Washington’s waters. The longer the vessels remain below water, the more difficult and costly they are to remove.

“Our marine habitats play such an important role in the health of Washington’s environment and deserve to be protected,” said Lovelett. “Not only are the gateways to the Puget Sound, but they also serve as critical habitats for our salmon and orca populations.”

The bill also expands the definition of what is considered a derelict vessel as a proactive measure for future removal.

Lovelett also sponsored Senate Bill 6210, which will place restrictions on the use of toxic antifouling paints in order to protect water habitats from chemicals.