Cleaning Up the Coasts ESF-10 Florida Hurricane Irma Response

Emergency Support Function 10 (ESF-10) is a protocol for how the federal government cleans up actual and potential oil spills and hazardous materials after a Presidential Declaration of Emergency. The primary agencies quickly setup a unified command to run field operations, manage budgets and disseminate critical public information.

ESF-10 Incident Command Post Planning Meeting
Representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency, US Coast Guard and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission visit response efforts in Branch Key West.

Following protocols from the National Incident Management System (NIMS), the unified command chose to divide the affected areas into branches along the same boundaries as current Coast Guard sectors and then to smaller divisions.

Branch Jacksonville
Branch St. Petersburg
Branch Miami
Branch Key West

Working together the Coast Guard, the Environmental Protection Agency and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission focus on making sure people are safe while assessing thousands of vessels and containers for potential environmental threats in each area affected by Hurricane Irma.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Division of Law Enforcement helped branch teams approach each vessel safely while also working directly with vessel owners.
Vessel Assessment Sticker

Oil Spill Response Organizations (OSROs) are vital resources to a successful response. Each OSRO is an expert in a particular skill from underwater welding and surveying to salvage and pollution control.

Crews prepare to pump out a vessel
Boom may be used to contain any hazardous discharges when extracting a vessel

Removing damaged vessels safely while minimizing environmental impact is a challenging job because each one requires proper planning, resources and skill. Many different methods of extraction are used from hoisting and towing to in-water demolition.

Barge teams prepare to tow a vessel slowly out of mangroves to minimize any further damage to the environment.
An OSRO uses an excavator to demolish a fishing vessel quickly while still afloat.

Extracted vessels are moved to staging areas so owners can claim them. Unclaimed vessels are destroyed and deposited in landfills.

Remember to bring the following documents to claim your vessel:

  • Government-Issued ID
  • Copy of Bill of Sale
  • Copy of Federal or State registration
  • Power of Attorney, if claiming on behalf of the owner

For more information on how to claim your vessel, go here!

Trucking companies transport vessels between barges and staging areas.
Created By
Michael Himes



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