Tracking abandoned boats is not required by federal law, so states that see a benefit in doing so are left to invest in creating publicly-viewable maps on their own. A New Jersey State Police spokesman said the agency has not considered the utility of launching that kind of database.
But Montclair professor Bologna sees the upshot of such a proposal.
It would be very beneficial to tag these abandoned boats for the people that use that water for commercial or recreational purposes … It lets people know there’s a navigational hazard there. [Abandoned boats can have] fuel, oil, and other materials that are relatively toxic, that can leach out into the environment over a period of time … and those can be detrimental to the organisms that are nearby, as well as the water.
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