More than 70 ships make up the fleet, some dating back to World War Two. They’re located just east of the Benicia Bridge in Suisun Bay.
NRDC attorney Michael Wall says the ships are shedding tons of toxic heavy metals.
"Right now, they’re just literally corroding away into Suisun Bay. We think that the most environmentally protective thing would be to put them in a dry dock and take them apart."
The suit was filed Monday in Sacramento. It demands the US Maritime Administration remove the ships and manage them at a land-based hazardous waste facility. Maritime officials say they’re already trying to do that and hope this new lawsuit doesn’t delay their efforts.