NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - Boats, floats, and docks are still scattered from Superstorm Sandy in the waters and along the shorelines around the city. "It's an environmental problem, it's an aesthetic problem," said environmentalist Daniel Mundy, who lives off Jamaica Bay in Broad Channel, Queens. You can see abandoned boats in the distance from his window.
Video from SkyFoxHD over Gerritsen Creek in Brooklyn shows some of the more than 350 pieces of marine debris that need to be removed. The boats destroy vegetation and leak fuel. [CLICK HERE TO SEE PHOTOS]
It has always been a problem but no one has made it their job until recently. New York City started a project using a $2 million grant to remove some of the boats.
The Army Corps of Engineers takes responsibility when boats are considered navigational hazards. The ones on the shoreline haven't moved. They're mostly made of fiberglass. Unlike wood, that material will not rot.
Dwayne Reith owns Custom Marine, a salvage company. He has been contracted through the Parks Department.
"There's an estimated about 600, but every day the number changes because we can pick up 10 from one place and then basically a month later come back and two more popped up mysteriously," Reith said.
Mundy hopes officials will learn from sandy and come up with a more organized method of removal.
"Someone who discovers an abandoned boat would have the ability to make a phone call and have it addressed," Mundy said.
The average cost for removing and disposing of a typical boat starts at about $2,000. New York City Parks Department is looking for another grant to expand this boat-removal operation to additional locations within the city that need it. Weather plays a big factor, but hopefully progress will start to be seen by next year.