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Vessel Turn-In Program good for boat owners, environment

Posted at 10:14 PM, Apr 23, 2019

For the third straight year, beginning Wednesday, people who live in Corpus Christi can turn-in boats, that no longer run or are otherwise unwanted, for proper disposal free of charge.

“We find these boats derelict in the water, on the side of the road, and in some cases in a ditch,” Jon Perez with Corpus Christi Solid Waste Services said. “This is an opportunity to have a central location for them to bring the boats to us.”

That central location is the Laguna Madre Wastewater Treatment Plant in Flour Bluff. Any Corpus Christi resident can bring a boat they own to that facility at 201 Jester Street from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. from Wednesday through Saturday. Texas Parks and Wildlife is among several other organizations that are co-sponsoring the turn-in event. That agency’s game wardens will verify ownership.

“We need to check and make sure those vessels aren’t stolen or aren’t the process of a lein or anything of any illegal nature,” Texas Parks And Wildlife Game Warden Captain Benjamin Baker said.

Baker is encouraged by previous turn-in programs, and is hopeful that the third annual event will help keep waterways clear of deliberately-sunken boats that are bad for the environment.

“Not only the chemicals or the fuels left in them but the structures themselves, depending on what they’re made of, could be bad for the marine mammals, also the fish, and any other organisms that might live in them or feed around them,” Cpt. Baker said.

Perez is also hopeful that lots of people will take advantage of this program that’s not only good for the environment but will also save the average boat owner at least $100 in disposal fees.

“Over the past two years we’ve collected a hundred and ten vessels,” Perez said. “This year, I personally have a goal to take on a hundred.”

To read important information about the Vessel Turn In program before you go to the event with your boat, please click here.