On April 18, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in coordination with New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, announced that both marinas and boatyards can reopen for personal use if people successfully practice social distancing rules and increase sanitization protocols.
These locations were closed for weeks to prevent clusters of people at waterfronts.
Charter services and rentals will still be prohibited and marina restaurants will remain closed — except for takeout and delivery — like other restaurants statewide.
Just a day before, on April 17, Assemblyman Colin Schmitt, R-New Windsor, distributed a bipartisan letter that encouraged Cuomo to amend the original closing decision, insisting that closing these waterfronts will prevent people from being able to fish or simply go outside; both of which are currently safe to do in New York.
A mix of Democratic and Republican lawmakers from the Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus signed this letter, including Senator Joseph Griffo, R-Rome, Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther, D-Forestburgh, Assemblyman Clifford Crouch, R-Guilford as well as Schmitt.
The letter states: “During particularly difficult times, sportsmen and women often turn to some of America’s most time-honored traditions as an avenue of escape. We humbly suggest that should closures be found to be necessary, that they be made in a manner that addresses the particular issue at hand while allowing access and opportunities to remain available for sportsmen and women in other areas of the state.”
The joint decision made by the three states was a step forward in an alignment of policies to create a “unified approach” for regional economies to open in unison and prevent unnecessary travel across state lines.
“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 policies 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.”
At the beginning of April, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation announced that boat launch installations will continue across New York to allow boaters recreational activities.
To encourage healthy use of these activities given the national pandemic, New York State Boat Launching Sites published a list of boating and launching areas for the public to read. The site also provides those interested with information on boating and fishing.
Since boating is encouraged, the DEC reminds people to practice CDC guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while enjoying their usual boating activities.