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The legislature finds that there has been an increase in the number of derelict and abandoned vessels that are either grounded or anchored upon publicly or privately owned submerged lands. These vessels are public nuisances and safety hazards as they often pose hazards to navigation, detract from the aesthetics of Washington's waterways, and threaten the environment with the potential release of hazardous materials. The legislature further finds that the costs associated with the disposal of derelict and abandoned vessels are substantial, and that in many cases there is no way to track down the current vessel owners in order to seek compensation. As a result, the costs associated with the removal of derelict vessels becomes a burden on public entities and the taxpaying public.
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