Hundreds of abandoned vessels of varying sizes and stages of decay litter the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta's 738,000 acres. Marine debris, some of which is decades old, is polluting the same waterways that provide drinking water to two-thirds of California with oil, hydraulic fuels, paints, and asbestos.
To address the issue, state waste management agency CalRecycle has teamed up with the State Water Resources Control Board and the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Department to eliminate these hazards from the system of natural and man-made water channels. But hauling out old boats, barges, and buildings is no easy feat.
The heavy equipment needed to break up, haul, and tow the debris, some of which is as large as houses, must be negotiated through the complex system of waterways with 10-ton vehicles moved to soft-soiled islands on barges. Managing the cleanup, commercial divers and work crews transport the materials to the appropriate disposal and recycling facilities.
March 20, 2010 6:00 AM PDT
Photo by: James Martin/CNET
| Caption by: James Martin
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