The Secretary may mark for the protection of navigation any sunken vessel or other obstruction existing on the navigable waters or waters above the continental shelf of the United States in such manner and for so long as, in his judgment, the needs of maritime navigation require. The owner of such an obstruction shall be liable to the United States for the cost of such marking until such time as the obstruction is removed or its abandonment legally established or until such earlier time as the Secretary may determine. All moneys received by the United States from the owners of obstructions, in accordance with this section, shall be covered into the Treasury of the United States as miscellaneous receipts. This section shall not be construed so as to relieve the owner of any such obstruction from the duty and responsibility suitably to mark the same and remove it as required by law.
14 U.S. Code § 545 - Marking of obstructions
Based on title 33, U.S.C., 1946 ed., § 736 (R.S. 4676; June 17, 1910, ch. 301, § 6, 36 Stat. 538; Aug. 16, 1937, ch. 665, § 1, 50 Stat. 666; 1939 Reorg. Plan No. II, § 2(a), eff. July 1, 1939, 4 F.R. 2731, 53 Stat. 1432).
Changes were made in phraseology. 81st Congress, House Report No. 557.
1974—Pub. L. 93–283 substituted “the navigable waters or waters above the continental shelf of the United States” for “any navigable waters of the United States”.
1965—Pub. L. 89–191 vested sole responsibility for wreck marking in the Coast Guard by giving the Secretary discretionary authority to mark wrecks or other similar obstructions for as long as in his judgment the needs of maritime navigation may require, by removing reference to responsibility of the Department of the Army to mark wrecks, after abandonment and before removal, and by giving the Secretary the authority to terminate an owner’s liability to pay the cost of marking a wreck.