Welcome to Boating Services
Our mission is to foster the sustainable development, use and enjoyment of all Maryland waterways in cooperation with Federal, State, and local government agencies for the benefit of the general boating public. The Boating Services Unit is comprised of three Divisions:
Boating Implementation is responsible for providing grants and technical assistance to develop new and/or improve existing public boating access facilities using sustainable construction practices, dredging navigation channels, acquiring fire, rescue and patrol vessels.
Hydrographic Operations is responsible for placing regulatory markers and navigation aids in support of natural resource areas and the boating public, coordinating the Abandoned Boat and Debris Program, and providing charting and ice-breaking services for the Department.
Clean Waterways, Facilities, and Regulations is responsible for coordinating the Clean Marina Initiative and the Marine Sewage Pumpout Program, oversight and management of Somers Cove Marina (SO County) and Ft. Washington Marina (PG County), and providing staff support to the State Boat Act Advisory Committee.
Vessel Safety Requirements
It is boating season. Make sure your vessel is safe and meets state requirements. Learn more.
Contact Hydrographic Operations to request buoys or report those that are “off station”. To learn more,
Permits for Marine Gatherings
Information and permits are now available online. To learn more click here.
Boating Access Sites
Looking for a place to launch your recreational boat? See the Maryland Online Boating Access Guide.
The Clean Marina Program announces three new Clean Marinas in Cecil County.
Abandoned Boats & Debris
Report abandoned boats and debris at the Maryland Abandoned Boat and Debris Program.
Severn River Dredged
Two dredging projects completed along the Severn River in Anne Arundel County.
Ocean City Dedicates New Fire Boat
DID YOU KNOW:
- Boating Services provides statewide planning, technical, resource conservation, and financial assistance to federal, state, and local partners to maintain and develop public boating access sites, public navigation channels, water trails, clean marinas, marine sewage pumpout stations, navigation and regulatory buoys/signs, and to acquire fire/rescue and patrol boats and equipment.
- Boating Services works with boating organizations, non-profits, watermen and the general public to help enhance the boating experience for recreational boaters and those who make their living on our state waterways.
- Boating programs and activities are financed through the DNR Waterway Improvement Fund. The revenues for this Fund come from the 5% vessel excise tax that is paid when a vessel is titled in Maryland.
- Over the past 40 plus years, the Waterway Improvement Fund has financed over 4,500 grant projects valued at $300 million that have been used for developing and maintaining over 400 public boating access sites throughout the State.
- The Fund also supports over 2,000 aids to navigation and other regulatory markers, ice breaking operations during the winter months, the removal of tons of dangerous debris and abandoned boats from public waterways, the establishment of 600 miles of water trails, and the installation of 250 marine sewage pumpout stations.
Christening the R.P. Gaudette
Personal Watercraft (PWC) Info
There are over 12,000 Personal Watercraft (PWC), commonly called Jet Ski’s or Wave Runners, registered in Maryland. Learn more about the rules and regulations for PWCs and how to operate one in a responsible manner by visiting the special safety section for “PWCs”.
Courtesy on the Water
The Chesapeake Bay is home to an array of boats and boaters. There are over 200,000 registered boats in the State, which means everyone needs to be aware of their actions on the water. Learn more about courtesy on the water and do your part to make Maryland waters enjoyable for all users.
Invasive Species Notice for Boaters
Prevent the spread of aquatic hitchhikers. The zebra mussel is an exotic and harmful species that are a form of biological pollution and damage aquatic ecosystems. Click here to learn how you can prevent the spread of zebra mussels in Maryland.
Chesapeake Bay Hotline
Call 1-877-224-7229to report any of the following
- Boating accident or reckless activity
- Fish kill or algal bloom
- Floating debris that poses a hazard to navigation
- Illegal fishing activity
- Public sewer leak or overflow
- Oil or hazardous material spill
- Critical area or wetlands violation
- Suspicious or unusual activity