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Partnerships and Initiatives

The Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources, including the Division of Environmental Resources Management (DERM) and the Chief Bay Officer, often partner with County departments and officials, municipalities, state and federal agencies, academia and organizations to help improve the health of Biscayne Bay and educate the public. 
The following activities have taken place or are ongoing.

Derelict Vessel Removal

Abandoned boats, also known as derelict vessels, are a major problem in the coastal areas of Miami-Dade County, and especially within Biscayne Bay. They pollute the water, damage marine resources and threaten boater safety. DERM partners with the Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD), the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), and other marine law enforcement agencies to document and remove derelict vessels, and to hold their owners accountable whenever possible. 

Recently, DERM and MDPD removed four boats. The removal and disposal of these were funded with mitigation funds associated with issuance of a permit for coastal construction work in the bay. Both MDPD and FWC are currently stepping up efforts to deal with derelict and abandoned boats in the county and we anticipate that a lot more will be accomplished this year.

In 2021, 10 derelict vessels have been removed to date.

At-Risk Derelict Vessel Task Force

Through the At-Risk Vessels Task Force, DERM, the Miami-Dade Police Department, FWC, U.S. Coast Guard, 18 municipal police departments and marine patrols, the Chief Bay Officer and other partners are working together to take appropriate action to identify and prevent “at-risk” vessels from becoming derelict and reduce the navigational and environmental hazards plaguing local waterways. The Task Force was created by Commissioner Sally Heyman.


Manatee Season and Boater Safety Education

The Chief Bay Officer and MDPD share important information about safe boating during manatee season.