Boating Regulations and the Maryland State Boat Act

The Maryland State Boating Act was enacted in 1960 to work in harmony with the United States Coast Guard regulatory scheme and provided that revenue generated through regulating boating activity would be earmarked for boating and maritime purposes. Perhaps the most important idea was that in Maryland, boaters would administer boating with the support of the boating community.

Maryland State Boat Act Advisory Committee

The Maryland Boat Act Advisory Committee, BAAC, was established as part of the Boating Act in 1960. The purpose of the Committee is to make recommendationsto the Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources on boating regulation requests. Members of the Committee include boaters and representatives from different water use organizations. The members are appointed by the Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and have a variety of experience and expertise in boating related matters. The Committee meets on a regular basis to review regulatory requests. Meetings are open to the general public and public input is encouraged by the Committee members. To obtain information on the next Committee meeting, please view the ‘Upcoming Committee Meetings’ section or view the department's calendar online or contact Mike Simonsen at 410-260-8272 or Jeannine Moaney at 410-260-8417. ​

Boat Act Advisory Committee Members

Amy Craig, Chairman

Thornell Jones, Vice Chairman

Jon Sheller, Officer at Large

Robin Allison

Bob Lunsford

Russ Dwyer

Coles Marsh

Joe Hellner

Robert Nickel

Steve Kling

Jo​hn Pepe

Frederick Levitan

Chris Parlin

Ram​ona Trovato

Mike Simonsen, State Committee Liaison

Jeannine Moaney, Staff Contact


Maryland State and Federal Requirements for Recreational Vessels

Maryland's waters offer wonderful opportunities for recreational b​oaters. With the ever-increasing number of boaters on our waters, it is the responsibility of all of us to work together to ensure that our waters are clean and safe.

Please invest the time to educate yourself in the practices necessary to be a safe and responsible boater by reviewing the brochure, checklist and course listings below. They contain everything you will need to know in regards to recreational boating in Maryland and it will help you to make your boating experience a safe and memorable one.​​​​​

Kid on a water ski.New Law Affecting Maynadier Controlled Ski Course - Effective June 1, 2019

See Senate Bill 93

Controlled Water Ski Areas

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the United States Army Corp of Engineers have established three “Controlled Ski Areas” in Maryland waters. These areas contain American Water Ski Association approved water ski courses installed and maintained by private ski clubs and used for slalom ski enthusiasts, and practice for competitive ski tournaments. These courses are for practice and may not be used for ski tournaments.

The controlled ski areas are located on Maynadier Creek (Severn River), Sunrise Beach (Severn River), and on the upper South River.

Vessels using the courses must display a Department of Natural Resources Ski Sticker. If your vessel is on the list of American Water Ski Association approved vessels listed in Maryland regulations

COMAR, you may call 410-260-8417 to make an appointment to receive a sticker for your vessel. If your vessel is not listed, you may be required to demonstrate that your vessel can perform safely on a ski course.

The courses are open to the public but contain operational restrictions on when they may be used, the type of vessel used and speed limits and other vessel restrictions in the areas surrounding the course. Click on the following link to COMAR to review Maryland’s regulations concerning the use of a Controlled Ski Area.


Boat Act Advisory Committee Links

Shoreline Erosion Studies

Chesapeake Bay Hotline

Call 1-877-224-7229 to report 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 wetland violation
  • Suspicious or unusual activity

Online Services