After days of back and forth about the closure of privately owned boat launches and marina and what that means for state-owned facilities, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Saturday an easing of restrictions that were put into effect last week.
In a news release sent over the weekend, Cuomo, in conjunction with New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont announced marinas, boatyards and marine manufacturers will be allowed to open for personal use as long as strict social distancing and sanitization protocols are followed. Chartered watercraft services or rentals will not be allowed, and restaurant activity at these sites must be limited to take-out or delivery only, like anywhere else in the three states.
“Throughout this pandemic, we’ve worked closely with our friends in neighboring states to implement a uniform regional approach to reducing the spread of the virus,” Cuomo said. “Aligning our polices in this area is another example of that strong partnership, and will help ensure there is no confusion or ‘state shopping’ when it comes to marinas and boatyards.”
This development clears up confusion last week, when Empire State Development (ESD) included privately owned marinas, boat launches and golf courses on its list of “non-essential” businesses.
Then NYS Department of Environmental Conservation followed suit, temporarily suspending use of all DEC, Canal Corp., and State Parks-owned boat launches.
According to the DEC as of this morning, decisions about the operation of municipally-owned boat launches will be made by the municipality. Access to boat launches (which to help clarify would include DEC and State Parks) are allowed “if strict adherence to the CDC/New York State Department of Health guidelines for preventing the spread of colds, flu, and COVID-19 is followed.”