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A sinking feeling.

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The bad economy is causing boat owners to abandon ship, literally. Like overstretched homeowners, boat owners who can no longer afford payments, cannot sell their used boat or simply can't afford to maintain it are scratching off the names and registry numbers and ditching their vessels. It costs thousands of dollars to properly dispose of a boat. "Our waters have become dumping grounds," Major Paul R. Ouellette of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission told The New York Times. In January, South Carolina passed a law to make it illegal to abandon a boat on a public waterway. And California lawmakers are looking at a boater bailout plan that encourages owners to surrender unwanted boats to the state.

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Title Annotation:STATELINE; boat owners economic condition
Publication:State Legislatures
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2009
Words:121
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