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/ DEVELOPMENTS IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY

County Plans to Destroy 25 Boats Abandoned at Marina

March 11, 2000

MARINA DEL REY — County officials hope to destroy more than two dozen abandoned vessels docked at Marina del Rey next month as part of an ongoing effort to beautify the marina.

The Marina del Rey Small Craft Harbor Commission requested this week a special $26,000 state grant to remove a mix of 25 derelict sailboats, catamarans and power boats. If the grant is approved, the Harbor Commission and the county Department of Beaches and Harbors will use the money to hire a contractor to salvage or demolish the boats.

Most of the condemned vessels were used as permanent housing, and their tenants have since been evicted, said Sgt. Gary Thornton of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. After the owners either relinquished the boats or could not be found, the vessels came to pose risks to navigation, the environment and effective operation of the 6,000-slip marina, officials say.

Since the mid-1990s, marina officials have pushed to reduce the overall number of so-called live-aboard boats, saying the marina docks were never meant to serve as permanent housing. In the last five years, officials have removed 100 such live-aboard or owner-abandoned vessels. Currently, the marina hosts 650 licensed live-aboards, Thornton said.

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