The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for removing debris from federally designated, navigable channels and turning basins. Examples include removal of debris or shoaling to restore channels and turning basins to authorized and permitted conditions; and removal of wrecked vessels or waterborne debris deemed to be a navigation hazard. Local governments requesting assistance should contact their USCOE District Office (see below).
Jacksonville District: 904-232-3626 (Covers counties east of the Aucilla River, excluding the St. Marys River watershed. See map of district boundaries.)
Mobile District: 251-690-2570 (Covers all counties west of the Aucilla River. See map of district boundaries.)
Florida Water Management Districts
During natural disasters, the Florida water management districts will pursue funding and approval from FEMA for hurricane debris on land and water within their jurisdiction.
For more information, visit the district websites or contact them at the following numbers:
Northwest Florida WMD: 850-539-5999
Suwannee River WMD: 386-362-1001
St. Johns River WMD: 386-329-4500
Southwest Florida WMD: 352-796-7211
South Florida WMD: 561-686-8800
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
In coordination and partnership with a local government sponsor, the NRCS will assist in removing debris from creeks, streams, non-federally designated navigable and non-navigable channels to prevent threat of flooding or prevent soil erosion and reduce threats to life or property.
For more information, visit the NRCS website or call 352-338-9508
U.S. Coast Guard
The U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Office will broadcast a “Local Notice to Mariners” on VHF channel 16, so that boaters can be warned of wrecked vessels obstructing watercourse or creating hazards to navigation within the Intracoastal Waterway and other primary navigable waterways. For more information, visit the website or call the Coast Guard Marine Safety Office for your area at the following numbers:
MSO Mobile: 251-441-5684
MSO Tampa: 813-228-2191, ext. 8109
MSO Miami: 305-535-8705 or 786-295-9068
MSO Jacksonville: 904-232-2640, ext. 105 or ext. 152
Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC)
In coordination with local entities, the FWC will oversee the investigative and legal process for lost and abandoned vessels located at or below the high water mark within Florida waters. Those vessels identified as derelict within the waters of the state will be processed in accordance with procedures adopted and published by the state. This includes the identification and returning of lost boats, and the legally processing, salvaging and disposing of abandoned and derelict boats.
DEP must approve debris staging areas in order for the owner/operator of the staging area to receive Public Assistance funds from FEMA. Field authorizations for staging areas by DEP may be issued prior to or following a site inspection by DEP personnel for staging areas to be used for temporary storage and processing of hurricane-generated debris. Field authorizations for debris staging areas may be issued only by DEP subsequent to an Executive Order by the Governor declaring a state of emergency or an Emergency Final Order by the Secretary of DEP authorizing debris staging areas.
DEP also provides assistance with the cleanup of hazardous materials that pose a threat to the environment. For assistance, call the DEP Emergency Response State Warning Point at 800-320-0519.
Lost and abandoned vessels located on private properties are the responsibility of the property owners to reclaim and remove. Private property owners are responsible for removing debris from their own property, whether upland or wetland.
July 25, 2019 - 3:14pm
Interested in subscribing to DEP newsletters or receiving DEP updates through email?
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.