PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — State officials are planning to invest $40 million in the coming months to remove abandoned and run-down boats “littering” waterways across Oregon.

The Department of State Lands says they have been working on removing hazardous vessels for several years, and are currently focused on removing four commercial vessels.

These vessels raise concerns regarding possible water contamination, habitat degradation, damage to property and how it impacts boaters using the waterway.

Tourist No. 2, the historic ferry that recently sank in Astoria, is among the boats being removed for safety concerns, according to officials. Despite crews efforts to remove pollutants, officials say the ferry’s “poor condition, proximity to a fuel dock and the navigational channel, and the continued impact of tides on the vessel’s structural integrity” create unsafe conditions.

“Not taking action to remove this hazard from the water is not an option,” DSL Director Vicki Walker said in a Wednesday release.

The proposed plan is meant to prevent any further funds being directed away from Oregon’s Common School Fund and to vessel removal efforts. Officials say since 2017, the state has spent $12.9 million from the school fund on the removal project.

Click here to read more details about the plan.