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Dec. 8, 2019
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LLA removes three more abandoned boats

By Pamela A. Keene 
 
It’s like the rock song “Another one bites the dust.” The Lake Lanier Association’s Abandoned Boats and Derelict Docks program is on a roll. In early November, the organization removed another three boats from the south side of the lake. Known as “The Trio,” the three were a sailboat, a pontoon and a houseboat. 
 
“Because of great cooperation between federal, state and non-government organizations and successful follow-up by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the Corps, these hazardous boats were removed,” said Jennifer Flowers, executive director of the association. “We have been able to proceed with these removals through state funding and community support.” 
The impetus behind removing abandoned vessels is the threat to the environment with possible oil and gas leaks into the water, plus insulation, glass, metal, gas cans, trash and other debris. 
 
“The association had been working to identify the owners and progress with removal of these vessels since March,” she said. “The houseboat had no hull identification number or registration number; the Corps declared it hazardous debris, clearing it to be removed from the lake, dismantled and taken to the landfill. The other two had registration numbers and were impounded by the Corps of Engineers.” 
 
Over the past 18 to 24 months, the Abandoned Boat and Derelict Docks program has added stronger enforcement and follow up because of cooperation with the Hall County Solicitors Office. “They have been a wonderful partner with us because of the legal action that can now be taken. We really couldn’t help protect the lake and its resources without cooperation from all our partners.” 
 
Other boats are on the list for removal after the first of the year. “We want to make it very clear that we are not a junk-removal service. Boat owners are being held responsible through criminal and civil penalties,” Flowers said. “Citations are being written, fines are being given, dock permits are being lost when applicable, and arrests are being made. Please avoid this and dispose of your boats and docks properly.”

Posted online 11.25.19
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