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Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Memo
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The MA Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs published comprehensive guidelines for boating and related public facilities today.

Coastal Boat Ramps:
- For commercial, state and municipal uses, coastal boat ramps will remain open.
- For recreational use, coastal boat ramps managed by the state remain open for use by boats being launched by vehicles registered in the state of MA.
- All other coastal boat ramps currently managed by municipalities remain open for recreational use subject to the discretion of the city or town.
- Coastal boat ramp parking lots are open for users launching boats, canoes and kayaks, and associated parking. Parking for the purpose of accessing coastal beaches is prohibited.
- All boat ramp and canoe launch users shall practice social distancing. Users should allow appropriate space for users of the boat ramp or launch and clear the ramp immediately when their launch is complete.
- Users should ensure they are ready to depart quickly from the ramp or dock as soon as their boat is put into the water. - Users not actively launching their boat should clear the launch area.
- Upon return to ramp, users should load their boat as quickly as safely possible and then clear the launch area.
- Use of ramps for organized fishing tournaments, derbies, or any other type of gathering is prohibited. Loitering on ramps or use of ramps for any activity other than launching boats is prohibited.
- Parking at ramps for activities other than launching boats is prohibited.
- Masks or face-coverings should be worn in public in accordance with the Department of Public Health’s advisory when social distancing is not possible.


Recreational boating:
The safe operation of recreational boats is permitted under the following guidelines:
- Only persons from the same household should be together on a boat at one time.
- No gathering or groups of persons from multiple households will be permitted on boat ramps, docks, piers etc., and all users shall practice strict social distancing.
- All recreational crafts shall remain a safe distance apart. Tying boats or other crafts together is prohibited.
- All recreational boating is subject to the discretion of local officials, harbormasters, and law enforcement.
- All local rules, regulations, laws and Coast Guard requirements still apply.


Commercial Boating:
-Maritime transportation workers, including dredgers, port workers, mariners, ship crewmembers, ship pilots and tugboat operators, equipment operators (to include maintenance and repair, and maritime-specific medical providers), ship supply, chandler, and repair companies have all been deemed essential services under the governor’s order.
- Commercial fishing is an essential part of the food supply chain and will continue to be allowed. Workers should follow public health guidance to minimize interactions with each other and the public.
- All local rules, regulations, laws and Coast Guard requirements still apply.


For-hire Boating:
For hire boating will not be permitted while the governor’s stay at home advisory and essential services order is in effect. This includes:
*Charter and head boat fishing
*Sailboat rentals and lessons
*Canoe, kayak, and stand-up paddleboard rentals
*White water rafting and river tubing rentals
*Whale watches and other pleasure cruises
*Any other operation or use of a vessel that is not registered to the passenger.
Posted on 29 Apr 2020 by harbormaster
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