29 boats and counting: VB event will help non-profit pull more abandoned vessels from area waters

VIRGINIA BEACH (WAVY) — More than two dozen abandoned boats and counting — that’s what a local non-profit has pulled from area waters. The Vessel Disposal and Reuse Foundation is now two years old and wants to build on the momentum.

VDRF founder Mike Provost wants to keep making waterways cleaner, safer and more sustainable.

The first project was a cabin cruiser that had been adrift in Broad Bay back in December 2021.
Provost wants to ride a wave of support much further.

“It’s incredible that through the generosity of corporate sponsors and private donors, we’ve been able to remove 29 abandoned and derelict vessels,” he said in a Monday morning interview. “That’s over 300,000 pounds of hazardous debris kept out of our waterways.”

Provost credits City Council members Chris Taylor and Joash Schulman for helping him get a grant from the Virginia Marine Resources Commission for $275,000.

“We have not received those funds yet, but once we do, we’ll remove another 18 abandoned and derelict vessels from Virginia’s waterways,” Provost said.

“I thought that was a really awesome and great thing to do for the community and I want to be a part of it in any way I can,” said Amberly Ferguson, owner of Gala 417, a wedding and event venue in the Lynnhaven Marina area.

Ferguson will host as many as 197 supporters for a Jan. 6 fundraiser and all ticket revenue will benefit VDRF.

“Guests will be invited to either go into the ballroom and find their VIP section, or come over to the bar and grab some beverages, Ferguson said. “There’s gonna be a silent auction, some tastings available and it will be a great vibe for sure.”

Provost wants to keep the momentum flowing and said his next target will be several more rotting hulks in the North Landing River area.

“WAVY has been there since literally day one, the very first project,” Provost said, “and has been instrumental in us getting exposure, corporate sponsors and private donors.”

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