Online Services

Chesapeake Bay Hotline

Call 1-877-224-7229
to report any of the following

  • Boating accident or reckless activity
  • Fish kill or algal bloom
  • Floating debris that poses a hazard
  • Illegal fishing activity
  • Public sewer leak or overflow
  • Oil or hazardous material spill
  • Critical area or wetlands violation
  • Suspicious or unusual activity

Maryland's No Discharge Zones

Added Protection for Sensitive Waters

No Discharge Zones are established by the federal Environmental Protection Agency, upon petition by a state. Learn more about the designation process here.

Maryland has taken an extra step towards protecting sensitive waterways by working with the Environmental Protection Agency to designate No Discharge Zones (NDZs) in several areas noted below. A No Discharge Zone is an area of water where the discharge of all boat sewage is prohibited. This includes raw sewage, which is prohibited anywhere within three-miles of the U.S. Coast, as well as sewage treated by Type I or II marine sanitation devices (MSD). An NDZ does not restrict the discharge of gray water. Maryland chose to seek NDZ designation for these waters for several reasons:

  • high concentration of boats
  • resources sensitive to boat sewage
  • water contact activities
  • local support for added protection​


  • Herring Bay
  • Northern Coastal Bays, including the tidal waters of Ocean City Inlet, Sinepuxent Bay, Isle of Wight Bay, Assawoman Bay, and their tributaries.
  • Chester River and its Tributaries
    Maryland will be amending state regulations in 2020 at which time this No Discharge Zone will be enforceable by state law enforcement as well as US Coast Guard.

The precise locations are detailed in the Code of Maryland Regulations.


Anne Arundel County Waters

September 23, 2020 - A Tentative Approval of this Application was published in the Federal Register. All final public comments are due to EPA by October 23, 2020.

In 2018-2019 the Severn River Association drafted a No Discharge Zone application that would apply to all waters within Anne Arundel County. The application has the support of the Annapolis Mayor and City Council and the Anne Arundel County Executive and Council.

Public meetings were held on the proposal:

  • August 14, 2019: 7 - 8 PM Pip Moyer Recreation Center Meeting Room , 273 Hilltop Ln, Annapolis, MD 21403
  • August 19, 2019: 7 - 8 PM Anne Arundel County Police Department Southern District, 35 Stepneys Ln, Edgewater, MD 21037
  • August 22, 2019: 7 - 8 PM Earleigh Heights Volunteer Fire Department located at 161 Ritchie Highway Severna Park, MD 21146

The application below was submitted to EPA Region III staff May 12, 2020.

AA County No Discharge Zone Fact Sheet

AA County No Discharge Zone Application

Complying with NDZ Regulations

When navigating within an NDZ:

  • Secure Type I and Type II MSDs (treat and release systems). Acceptable methods to secure these systems include locking the door to the head or disabling the seacock.
  • Use the available pumpout facilities located at nearby marinas to empty Type III systems (holding tanks) and portable toilets.
  • Report NDZ violations and inoperable pumpouts to state authorities​.

NDZ Enforcement

Cooperation by boaters is the key to successful implementation of No Discharge Zones. Please respect restrictions in these areas and encourage other boaters to do so. Violators will be subject to fines up to $1,000.

Report NDZ Violations:

Maryland Department of the Environment
410-537-3510 (weekdays)
866-MDE-GOTO (evenings and weekends)

Report Inoperable Pumpouts:

Maryland Department of Natural Resources
410-260-8772 (weekdays)