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Surrendered and Abandoned Vessel Exchange (SAVE)

Grants to California Public Agencies to Remove
Abandoned Boats and Prevent Marine Debris

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California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW)

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Grants to California local public agencies for the removal, reduction, and prevention of marine debris and abandoned recreational vehicles. Funding is available for local programs that remove abandoned vessels, facilitate surrendered vessels, and remove hazardous debris from marine areas.

The SAVE program combines the Abandoned Watercraft Abatement Fund (AWAF) and the Vessel Turn-In Program (VTIP) grants into one, allowing local public agencies the convenience of only one grant to apply for and manage, and the flexibility to use the funds for both purposes as needed.

Only the SAVE will be available to public agencies interested in receiving an AWAF and/or VTIP Grant. The SAVE is a competitive grant. Agencies are required to participate in both services under the SAVE.

The AWAF and VTIP are grant programs designed to remove, reduce and prevent abandoned recreational vessels and marine debris. Administered by the California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW), grants are awarded annually to qualified local public agencies statewide. The AWAF and VTIP, enacted in 1998 and 2010 respectively, have provided millions of dollars in grants, and have enabled the removal of thousands of vessels and marine debris.

About the Grants:

Abandoned Watercraft and Abatement Fund (AWAF)

In October of 1997, Senate Bill 172 (Rainey) created the AWAF in Section 525 of the Harbors and Navigation Code (HNC).

The AWAF is a reimbursement grant which provides funds for the abatement, removal, storage and disposal of abandoned vessels, wrecked or dismantled vessels, parts, or any other partially submerged objects that pose a substantial hazard to navigation from navigable waterways or adjacent public property, or private property with the landowner’s consent, per Harbors and Navigation Code (HNC) Section 525. Commercial vessels are not covered under this program.

Vessel Turn-In Program (VTIP)

The proactive VTIP grant was created in 2010 as a solution to prevent abandoned vessels before they happen. By providing an easy and free alternative for boat owners to surrender an unwanted vessel to a participating agency in lieu of abandonment, this program eliminates the expensive, difficult and time consuming adjudication and removal process that abandoned vessels often require. More importantly, the VTIP also works to safeguard public and boater safety by preventing the risk of harmful water hazards, and provides for the protection of the environment by preventing discharges of oils, gas, sewage and other toxic pollutants that may leak from an abandoned vessel into our waterways and fragile habitats.

Reimbursable Expenses Under Save:

For abandoned vessels and marine debris, the SAVE provides reimbursement funds for the abatement, removal, storage, and disposal of abandoned vessels, wrecked or dismantled vessels, parts, or any other partially submerged objects that pose a substantial hazard to navigation from navigable waterways or adjacent public property, or private property with the landowner’s consent, per Harbors and Navigation Code (HNC) Section 525.

In addition, for abandoned vessels, other expenses such as towing, hazmat removal, appraisals, and lien sale costs are also reimbursable through the SAVE.

For VTIP vessels surrendered through the SAVE, reimbursable expenses covered are removal, storage, towing, hazmat removal, demolition and disposal.

Accepting Vessels through the Vessel Turn-in Program:

In an effort to intercept vessels before they are abandoned, the VTIP is the most efficient and practical solution. Deciding which vessels to accept through the VTIP is up to each participating agency. According to HNC Section 526.1, the public agency determines, in its sole discretion, that the vessel is in danger of being abandoned, and therefore has a likelihood of causing environmental degradation or becoming a hazard to navigation.

Participating SAVE agencies may accept VTIP vessels only in their area of responsibility or from other neighboring California communities. Extra points are awarded applicants who are willing to accept vessels from outside their jurisdiction.

How the VTIP Works:

Verified titleholders can request to surrender their recreational vessels free of charge to participating VTIP agencies. If accepted, the title of the vessel must be free of any loan balances, liens, and/or taxes. Proof of ownership and a Release of Interest and Ownership from the owner are required to be provided to the VTIP agency. The agency has the vessel demolished and submits proper notification to the DMV, and provides a reimbursement request to DBW.

For vessels surrendered through the SAVE (VTIP), reimbursable covered expenses are removal, storage, towing, hazmat removal, demolition and disposal.

Grant Management:

DBW values its partnership with SAVE grantees, and strives to provide concise information, prompt reimbursements, and helpful assistance in order to keep the SAVE a viable and robust program for the betterment of California and its people. As in all partnerships, communication is key. To that end, grantees have management responsibilities as well: brief quarterly reports are required of grantees, and an annual teleconference meeting of all SAVE agencies is conducted in the fall.

Grant funds are expected to be utilized effectively and not saved for a rainy day or hoarded. When agencies apply for a new SAVE grant, points are awarded on a sliding scale for efficient management of previous grants. In addition to maintaining communication, grantees are expected to utilize as much of their grant as possible with efficiency and relative speed; failure to do so can be detrimental to the intent and future budget of the SAVE program. If an agency is facing the prospect of having substantial unused funds remaining in their grant, then they are encouraged (and may be required) to help other agencies that are in need through the “Funds Assist” process which is facilitated by DBW.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 150442

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Section 525 (1)(A) of the Harbors and Navigation Code (HNC) allows DBW to distribute grants to local public agencies that have jurisdiction over navigable waterways in California.

Private businesses cannot apply for a SAVE grant; however, they may work through a local public agency that is participating in the SAVE to 1) remove abandoned vessels on their private property, 2) surrender vessels through the VTIP they have title to, and/or 3) remove hazardous marine debris.

Commercial vessels are not covered under this program.

Pre-proposal Conference:

DBW will conduct OLGA training sessions for new and returning users. You are encouraged to attend.

Training will be held on February 15, 2018, from 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM at One Capitol Mall, Suite 500, Sacramento, CA, 95814.

Please submit your RSVP by close of business one week prior to the training date via email to Ron Kent (see contact details below).

Please include the following information in your email:
1. Name of attendee(s)
2. Agency
3. Phone Number(s)
4. Date(s) of attendance

Pre-Application Information:

Per HNC 526(1)(C) a grant awarded by DBW shall be matched by a 10-percent contribution from the local agency receiving the grant. SAVE recipients are required to expend their 10-percent contribution before receiving reimbursement from the SAVE program.

The contribution may be rendered in cash or through in-kind contributions which must be verified, and are at the discretion of DBW. The contributions may include the following:
-Personnel hours (verifiable base net hourly rates only)
-Excess expenses above and beyond the grant amount such as storage, removal, etc.

Grant applications for the SAVE will be accepted through DBW’s online grant application system, “OLGA,” beginning February 1 and will close on April 30 annually. It is recommended that agencies submit their application as early as possible to avoid any last minute difficulties.

The typical grant process is as follows:

1. February 1: SAVE grant applications are open in OLGA; training sessions are conducted.

2. April 30: Grant applications are closed.

3. July 15: Grant awards announced. No work can begin until the grant is “Fully Executed” and notice to proceed is issued by DBW.

4. August 1: Grant instructions and agreement documents are issued via OLGA to awarded agencies for their completion.

5. Agencies are required to complete various sections of the grant agreement, obtain their City Council or Board of Supervisors Resolution acknowledging acceptance of the grant (this may be done in advance of receiving grant documents), and return the grant documents back to DBW for final review and approval. The time frame for this process varies greatly among the agencies, but DBW strongly requests that documents be returned within 90 days of receipt.

6. Once returned, DBW reviews the grant documents, and completes the internal processes and approvals, approximately 1-2 weeks. When complete, DBW will issue the Fully Executed / Notice to Proceed letter to the award recipient, along with the completed grant agreement.

7. Work may begin relative to the scope of the SAVE grant.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply Online:

Ron Kent
(916) 327-1825

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Geographic Focus:

USA: California