On June 23, the board of directors of the Richardson’s Bay Regional Agency (RBRA) voted unanimously to initiate a buyback incentive program to accelerate the removal of vessels from the anchorage.
Interim Executive Director Steve McGrath said the agency will offer owners of vessels anchored in local waters $150 per lineal foot to sell their vessels. “Incentives are better than enforcement. We want to encourage people. We want to recognize the actual or emotional value of their vessel to them,” McGrath said.
There is currently $100,000 allocated to this innovative program. An average–sized vessel, 35 feet in length, would receive $5,250 in return. On this basis, the allocated funding would be expended after purchasing 19 vessels.
McGrath said if the program is successful, the RBRA will seek to raise money from other sources to continue the program. The current program runs from July 1 through December 1.
Recently, McGrath told the Floating Times that while no purchases have been made yet, “there is good interest in the program.”
Applicants will be limited to one of the 69 vessels currently on the anchorage. The agency plans to dispose of the vessels it purchases.
The RBRA hopes to ensure that recipients of the program have a home and will not seek to be unhoused following the payout. “We want to ensure nobody goes from the anchorage to, for example, the encampment in Sausalito,” McGrath said. “If you are leaving a vessel that you say is your home, we want an address of somewhere where you’re going to be.”