The Department of Natural Resources submitted a regulation proposal to the Maryland General Assembly's Administrative, Executive, and Legislative Review Committee asking for emergency approval.

The emergency regulations, if approved, will establish a 6-knot speed limit in the Potomac River for the area surrounding the construction site of the Maryland Transportation Authority’s Harry W. Nice/Thomas “Mac” Middleton Bridge Replacement Design-Build Project. The project involves construction of a new bridge and demolition of the existing Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial/Senator Thomas “Mac” Middleton Bridge. The construction of the new bridge is scheduled to be completed by 2023 and the demolition of the old bridge is scheduled to be completed by December 31, 2024. The speed limit would be in effect through December 31, 2024.

Emergency approval of this action has been requested to ensure public safety and protect human life. Without an established speed limit, the construction zone poses safety threats for all waterway users, employees, and contractors. The proposed speed limit will help protect all workers and barges from excessive wake actions. This action has been developed in cooperation with the Maryland Transportation Authority and the U.S. Coast Guard and will positively support the project and avoid delays.


Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) Chapter 21 Potomac River
Authority: Natural Resources Article, §§8-703 and 8-704, Annotated Code of Maryland

.07 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial/Senator Thomas “Mac” Middleton Bridge.

A. Area. All of the waters of the Potomac River upstream of a line beginning at a point near the southwest side of the Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial/Senator Thomas “Mac” Middleton Bridge defined by Lat. 38° 21' 30.6" N, Long. 77° 0' 52.2" W; then running 82° True to a point defined by Lat. 38° 21' 45.4" N, Long. 76° 58' 57.1" W; and downstream of a line beginning at a point defined by Lat. 38° 21' 53.1" N, Long. 76° 58' 58.6" W; then running 260° True to a point defined by Lat. 38° 21' 37.8" N, Long. 77° 0' 52.5" W.

B. The area described in §A of this regulation has a 6-knot speed limit all year.

C. This regulation shall be effective through December 31, 2024.

Secretary of Natural Resources​​

Click Here: Transportation Authority (MDTA) New Nice Middleton Bridge Project - Home

Public comments concerning this proposed regulation will be accepted through February 3, 2021. Click Here to comment.


Authority: Natural Resources Article, §§8-703 and 8-704, Annotated Code of Maryland

Notice of Final Action [20-127-F]

On September 15, 2020, the Secretary of Natural Resources adopted new Regulation under COMAR 08.18.27 Tred Avon River. This action, which was proposed for adoption in 47:16 Md. R. 746 (July 31, 2020), has been adopted as proposed. Effective Date: October 19, 2020.

Secretary of Natural Resources


Dixon Creek - Eastern Branch

Code of Maryland Regulations
Title 08. Department of Natural Resources
Chapter 08.18.27. Tred Avon River
Sec. Dixon Creek — Eastern Branch

.04 Dixon Creek — Eastern Branch encompasses all the waters of Dixon Creek beginning at a point at or near Lat. 38º.45.990’ N., Long. 76º6.7100’ W., then running 288º True to a point, at or near Lat. 38º46.03’ N., Long. 76º6.870’ W., then running 108º True to the point of beginning. This area has a 6-knot speed limit Saturdays, Sundays, and State holidays during the boating season.

Opening of Dixon Creek
Image at mouth of Dixon Creek - Eastern Branch
Digital Image: October 2020
Tred Avon River System – Talbot County, Maryland

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

Thornell Jones, Chairman

Jon Sheller, Vice Chairman

Position Vacant, Officer at Large

Robin Allison

Bob Lunsford​

Amy Craig

Bob Nickel

Russ Dwyer

Fred Levitan

Joe Hellner

Chris Parlin

Steve Kling

Ram​ona Trovato​​

Mike Simonsen, State Committee Liaison

Jeannine Moaney, Staff Contact

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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.​​​​​


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