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Author: Deputy Harbormaster

Shellfish Reopened

The Department of Marine Fisheries has changed the status of shellfishing effective 9/17:

Subject to conditional area management plan criteria where applicable

Dartmouth Shellfish

Hurricane Lee



A Tropical Storm Warning has been issued for the coast of
Massachusetts from Woods Hole to Hull, including Cape Cod,
Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket.

A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are
expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours.

A few points to assist with your decisions in the coming days:

  • The Harbormaster Office has no additional information on the storm’s path. We rely on the National Hurricane Center as the best reliable source of possible paths and intensity predictions
  • We do not have moorings, ‘Hurricane moorings’ or ‘storm moorings’ available on either side of the bridge.
  • It is always the safest course of action to haul your boat well in advance of any predicted storm. It is unlikely to be safe or possible to haul if you wait until the last minute.
  • Operation of the Padanaram Bridge is on the same schedule until 10/31 by the Department of Public Works.
  • Please check mooring lines, add chafe protection near wear points, remove all sails, canvas and items stored on deck. Anything that cannot be easily removed, should be lashed down and secured.
  • Your boat is likely made of plastic, metal and wood. It can be repaired or replaced more easily than your life or limbs. Please use extraordinary care and safety in preparing well in advance of the storm. We don’t need you to put your life, or ours, in jeopardy in the face of any weather. At some practical point, rescue equipment, vessels and personnel will be removed from the hazardous waterfront environment and will not be available to rescue you or your property during any storm.

Summer Weekly Pumpout List Ending

This is the final week for the Summer weekly pump out list. We will continue to pump out weekly, as available, until we receive freeze warnings. Please provide as much advanced notice as possible as we will be receiving many requests as haul outs occur.
Thank you

Pumpout Boat Out for Service

The pump out boat was taken out for service today at Noon. The shore side station remains available for use. The boat should be back in service before Saturday after maintenance has been completed. Thanks

2023 Boat Shrink Wrap Recycling

Dartmouth, MA – It protected your boat all winter, now it’s time to protect the environment.

Clean white boat wrap is accepted through this drop-off program at the Dartmouth Transfer Station.  Zippers and straps must be removed and discarded.  Spray painted wrap cannot be accepted.

“This boat wrap drop-off program enables this material to be collected in a designated container so that it can be recycled. Boat wrap cannot be placed in a curbside recycling cart. It would take up valuable space at the Crapo Hill landfill if discarded as garbage. We are working with the Waterways Commission and the Harbormaster to alert individual boaters of this win-win solution to the annual shrink wrap disposal problem and doing our best to keep it out of the waste stream,” said Tim Barber, Director of Public Works in the Town of Dartmouth.

Dartmouth residents may take boat wrap to the Dartmouth Transfer Station. A transfer station permit is required.  There is a container for boat wrap only. The Dartmouth Transfer Station is open Tuesday and Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. and Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Dartmouth residents who would like to obtain a transfer station permit, or a day pass, may call the Dartmouth DPW at (508) 999-0740.

Remember, boat wrap is only recyclable through drop-off programs. Plastic bags and plastic wraps do not belong in recycling carts. That type of material wraps around equipment at sorting facilities causing sorting to grind to a halt while people work through the challenging task of removing plastic bags and wrap.

Boat wrap can also be reused several times if it is installed and removed with reuse in mind. Look for reuse information online or ask your boat shrink wrap installer about it. For more information, contact the Greater New Bedford Regional Refuse Management District by phone at (508) 979-1493 or by email at For additional tips, visit Dartmouth Recycling on Facebook.

2023 Mooring Renewal

Mooring, vessel, waitlist and reserved dinghy/kayak rack registration ends on March 31, 2023.  This is the same renewal deadline specified in local regulations/by-laws since 2003.  

Reminder invoices were mailed out on February 24, 2023 to each permit holder at the last known address in our database.

Renewal of each mooring, boat permit, waiting list position or reserved dinghy/kayak rack assignment remains the responsibility of each individual permit holder.

Inquiries and requests for electronic invoice reminders may be made prior to the 3/31 deadline by emailing

2023 Seasonal Launch/Park Permits

Starting this week, the 2023 Arthur F. Dias Town Landing Launch/Parking permits are available for sale at the Town Collector’s Office, Dartmouth Town Hall.  Season permits to this facility remain the same price as last year, $60 per decal.  Each vehicle or vehicle/trailer combination requires an individual permit.  No duplicate or “second vehicle” permit exemptions apply.  Annual permits are available only at the Town Collector’s Office, Dartmouth Town Hall.  The Dartmouth Harbormaster Office does not have season landing permits to sell.

Notice of Continued Shellfish Closure – North Padanaram Harbor

The annual re-opening of Dartmouth’s north (Apponagansett Bay) harbor will not occur on
November 1st this year (2022). Recent water qualities testing results showed at least five areas
of concern and require that the north harbor remain “closed” to all shellfish harvesting.
Possible sources of the sub-standard water quality include a late season influx of birds and
waterfowl feeding upon an abundance of baitfish, as well as several recent heavy rain storms
following an extremely dry summer season.

The State Division of Marine Fisheries is responsible for testing water samples from specific
sample sites. The Dartmouth Harbormaster Staff assists with collecting water samples, but the
State laboratory ensures the safety of the water quality from which all shellfish are harvested. It
is anticipated that another round of water samples will be collected and tested ASAP.

The entire north side of Apponagansett Bay, Padanaram Harbor will remain “closed” to all shell
fish harvesting until the water quality is ensured. The areas that have been open to the south
of the Padanaram Bridge Causeway (Smith Neck Road, south of Bush Point, and the outer
harbor) will remain open to harvesting at this time. Only the North harbor is impacted with this
continued closure.