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Derelict boats creating a ‘wild west’ on the waters

Derelict boats creating a ‘wild west’ on the waters. (WPEC)

Moorings exposed by CBS12 Investigates without a permit and possibly disturbing our fragile ecosystem.

Ryan Nagel’s family business has been on the water in Riviera Beach since the 1960’s. But lately he says it’s becoming the wild west on water, just a few paddles away.

“It’s pretty much everybody’s garbage and they’re going to sink, it’s just a matter of when. They’re not maintained,” Nagel said.

Some boats are anchored and some are tied to mooring buoys. Some boats are abandoned and some are derelict.

“They cause damage. It just depends on which way the wind is blowing who’s going to get the damage,” Nagel said.

CBS12 Investigates discovered that some of those moorings anchoring the boats in place are illegal.


Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection tells CBS12 that if a mooring buoy is anchored to the submerged bottom, with let’s say a screw, it requires a permit. CBS12 Investigates found there are not any permits for any moorings around Peanut Island according to state records.

Meanwhile Nagel says he can’t expand piers at his marina, without state approval.

“I have to do a seagrass study but they’re anchoring boats all over the seagrass with no repercussions,” he said.

CBS12 Investigates is waiting to hear back from the state about any action it might take as a result of our investigation.


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