Maryland Clarifies “No Recreational Boating” Order

By Meg Walburn Viviano.

The Chesapeake Bay states are now all under individual Stay at Home orders, with Washington, D.C. following Maryland, Virginia and Delaware’s COVID-19 pandemic precautions. What exactly the orders mean for various outdoor activities has been tricky to pin down.

The state of Maryland went far enough to specifically forbid recreational boating, prompting questions about what counts as recreational, what falls under the allowance for exercise, and whether fishing counts as an essential food-gathering activity.

Tuesday afternoon the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) weighed in with a Frequently Asked Questions document to help boaters, anglers, hunters and paddlers to understand exactly what’s allowed. DNR cautions, the following is current guidance and subject to change.

In Maryland, recreational boating is “prohibited until the governor lifts the executive order or until the State of Emergency has ended.” But, DNR notes, if you are boating to seek food for you or their family, boating is permitted.

“Boats used to transport essential employees or goods as defined in the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce” are also allowed. Individuals who live on their boats can remain on the vessel.