GROUP Recreational Mooring Buoys

The State requires that group moorings (Moorings consisting of 3 or more vessels under the control of one entity) be registered with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. To register your group mooring please complete the Group Mooring Registration Form and mail it to DNR.

Placement Restrictions

While there are no permits required for mooring buoys, there are restrictions on where you may place them. You may not place one in such a position that the arc of swing extends into a marked or unmarked channel, including navigational main channels as designated by the U.S. Coast Guard. Moorings also may not be placed in a manner that interferes with the operation of an access through any bridge.

Mooring buoys may not be established in the following areas:<

  • Public shellfish beds
  • Private shellfish beds, unless permission is obtained from the leaseholder
  • Cable crossing areas;
  • Designated beach and swim areas in the Severn River;
  • or in Controlled ski areas in the Severn River and South Rivers in Anne Arundel County.

Required Placement

Moorings shall be placed in such a position that the area encompassed by the arc of the swing does not extend more than one-third the open water distance from the mean high water line on one shore to the mean high water line on the opposite shore. Also, the arc of the swing must not impede or obstruct access to the land of any riparian property owner, the access and proper use of any public access point, or otherwise hinder the orderly access to and use of waterways by the general public.

Kent County, the City of Annapolis and the towns of Oxford and St. Michael's, Maryland have local mooring requirements that also must be met.

Buoy Appearance

Mooring buoys shall be colored white and shall have a horizontal blue band around the circumference of the buoy, centered midway between the top of the buoy and the water line.


If you have any questions regarding mooring buoys, please contact Jeannine Moaney, Department of Natural Resources Boating Services Unit at 410-260-8417.

Commercial Moorings

Single Recreational Mooring