FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 17, 2011
DNR and Bainbridge address trespasses in Eagle Harbor
Actions in harbor protect aquatic habitat, navigation, legal liveaboards
OLYMPIA — The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has begun final measures to remove vessels trespassing in Eagle Harbor on Bainbridge Island. In December the City of Bainbridge Island signed a lease with DNR for an ‘Open-water Moorage and Anchorage Area.’ The lease provides local oversight of moorage that protects the aquatic environment while providing opportunities to continue the historically important liveaboard community and other maritime opportunities in the bay.
State-owned waters are for navigation, commerce and public access for recreational and other uses. Vessels are free to move about and moor, but are limited to 30 days in one location, or they must find a legal moorage at a marina.
DNR has issued several rounds of notices to owners of vessels in the harbor notifying them about the city's Open-water Moorage and Anchorage Area and the need for them to either become part of the area or to find a new location to moor their vessel. Most boat owners have complied. On April 14, 2011, DNR delivered notices to eight boats inside the new lease area, warning the owners that the agency would take custody of the vessels and remove them if they were not moved within 30 days. Of the eight, two boats left the harbor, one moved to the city dock, and one boat was reposted with a 30-day notice. DNR took possession and removed one vessel.
Three vessels were found to have owners living on board. These derelict vessels were not removed, but legal notice was served to the owners; and DNR will proceed through the court process to remove them.
City of Bainbridge Island also removing vessels
Seven other vessels have ‘overstayed their welcome’ and are inside the Open Water Moorage and Anchorage Area leased by the City of Bainbridge Island. Last month, the city posted 30-day notices and will be working on the removal of these vessels. This includes two sunken vessels.
DNR has coordinated with the city and will remove unused mooring buoys within the Open-water Moorage and Anchorage Area, along with several unauthorized buoys outside of the area. About 12 to 15 buoys are scheduled for removal before June 30.
DNR steward of state-owned aquatic lands
The 2.6 million acres of state-owned aquatic (mostly submerged) lands are a public trust, managed and protected by DNR for all the people of Washington. Revenue is generated from the sale of renewable resources such as wild geoducks and other shellfish, and leases of marinas and other buildings on the aquatic lands. This revenue is used to protect the health and productivity of aquatic lands and resources, and help fund local projects that create public access to aquatic lands.
Media Contact: Jane Chavey, Senior Communications Manager, 360-902-1721, firstname.lastname@example.org
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