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Richardson Bay agency to offer buy-back program to help remove derelict boats

They’ve tried talking, threatening, litigating and towing. Now the Richardson Bay Regional Agency will try paying anchor-outs to give up their derelict boats.

The agency’s board of directors at its June 23 meeting unanimously approved a buy-back program offering up to $5,200 to owners who agree to remove their vessels from the anchorage or turn them in for demolition. The program will be funded by the county of Marin and will not come out of the agency’s $1.8-million fiscal 2023 budget, which was approved at the same meeting.

The agency has vowed to remove all long-term anchored-out boats by 2026 and has been actively towing boats off the water deemed to be “marine debris.”

Interim Executive Director Steve McGrath told directors the new program is an attempt to “get out in front of enforcement” and would take a different tack.

“This is an incentive program,” McGrath told the board. “It recognizes the value that people perceive their vessels to have, their time investment, their money investment, their emotional investment. Rather than just enforcing, we provide a measure of value to their investment and pay people to give us their vessels.”

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