Skip Links

BoatUS Foundation Opens ADV Removal Grant Program

Nonprofit is now accepting project proposals to clear local waterways of abandoned and derelict vessels.

A white sailboat capsized on the shore in shallow water.

Photo: Stacey Nedrow-Wigmore/BoatUS

In a nationwide effort to remove abandoned and neglected boats from our nation’s waterways, the BoatUS Foundation is seeking qualified, diverse, and experienced organizations to submit projects for funding. The massive cleanup effort to remove abandoned and derelict vessels (ADVs) in U.S. coastal waterways and the Great Lakes is fueled by a four-year, $10 million grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Marine Debris Program with funding provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Interested applicants are encouraged to submit a letter of intent between June 10 and August 12, 2024.

ADVs litter ports, waterways, and estuaries all over the country and can cause major problems. These boats can crush or smother sensitive plants and corals, sink or move during coastal storms, threaten safe navigation, and contribute to economic losses. Removing ADVs is a costly effort, often averaging more than $24,000 to remove a single boat. For many communities, there may be no local funding for removal of vessels, and navigating complicated funding programs can be challenging for those with limited time or resources. This is why the BoatUS Foundation grant program is so critical.

“We’re excited about building upon our years of experience with ADV removals,” said BoatUS Foundation Director of Outreach and Grant Program Director, Alanna Keating. “This is a unique program that is open to any organization, nonprofit or for-profit, as well as local, state, territorial, tribal, and regional government agencies. Some of our focus will be seeking underserved or marginalized communities that don’t have the local resources to rid their shores of abandoned and derelict vessels.” “Abandoned and derelict vessels are a widespread problem across the United States," said Nancy Wallace, Director of the NOAA Marine Debris Program. “We are pleased to partner with the BoatUS Foundation to maximize our impact, while reducing the accumulation of costly and damaging debris in our ports, waterways, and coasts.”

The goal of the BoatUS Foundation program is to improve U.S. coastal and Great Lakes waters affected by ADVs and create a first-of-its-kind national online database to track ADV location and removal efforts. By removing the associated pollution, navigation, and safety hazards ADVs can cause in waters for years, the 20 to 75 awardees of this grant program will have a lasting, positive impact on the environment and our waters locally and nationally for years to come.

A capsized boat surrounded by debris in open water on a sunny day.

Photo: Stacey Nedrow-Wigmore/BoatUS

Organizations are invited to apply for ADV removal funds by submitting a letter of intent that answers the following questions:

  • Body of water from which the debris will be removed.
  • Purpose of the project and the planned steps to complete it.
  • Anticipated outcomes of the project on the environment and the community.
  • How diversity, equity, justice, and inclusion will be part of the project.
  • Project budget and expenses to be covered by the grant funding.
  • Authorizations and/or permits needed to complete the work.

Priority will be given to projects that include input from and benefit tribal, underserved, or low-income communities; demonstrate strong community support; benefit marine animals and their habitats, local coastal communities, and/or local economies; and include local outreach and education activities directed toward the boating community and general public to prevent abandoned and derelict vessels. More information on how to apply for the BoatUS Foundation ADV Removal Program and grant guidelines can be found at

Related Articles


Click to explore related articles

news and issues environment and clean water


BoatUS Editors

Contributor, BoatUS Magazine

Award-winning BoatUS Magazine is the official publication of Boat Owners Association of The United States. The magazine provides boating skills, DIY maintenance, safety, news and more from top experts.