GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. -- A picturesque piece of the St. Johns River known locally as Muddy Cove is turning into a boat graveyard.

First Coast News was taken out to the area to see the abandoned eyesores close up.

Deputy Chis Castelli has been working for two years to get the boats removed from Muddy Cove. But finding the owners is not easy.

"Some people have left town and left the boats here for you and I the tax payers to deal with," Castelli said.

One boat has been here at least four years and they are removing five boats from the Muddy Cove, which is going to cost around $53,000.

So now a barge and crane is pulling out the derelict boats from the water and off the wetlands.

"So we are not dragging them across the grass or wetlands or anything, we can lift them up and place them directly on the barge," Castelli said.

The boats are all in bad shape and after being salvaged for steel, the rest will go to a landfill.

Other boats dot the shoreline of Muddy Cove, but the majority have people that live on them and are not considered derelict.

Deputy Castelli said boat owners have to take responsibility for their vessels and get them out of the water before it gets to this point.

To leave it is a crime, bad environmentally and unsafe.

"With mariners that transit in this are that don't know about this vessel, they could run right into it," Castelli said.