Marine Gatherings

A marine gathering is an intentional congregation of more than 100 vessels in a specific area of water that, by the event’s nature, circumstances, or location, creates extra or unusual hazards to life or property.

In 2012, the General Assembly passed legislation establishing a marine gathering permit to provide the Natural Resources Police, local law enforcement, and first responders adequate notice of large gatherings on State waters. The permit process helps law enforcement units and emergency services prepare appropriate safety and security measures for these large events. It also compels event sponsors and organizers to take a proactive roll in planning and managing for safety and security during their private parties on the water.

An organizer or planner of an event on State waters must apply for a permit if the event will likely:

(1) involve or attract 100 vessels or more;
(2) last three (3) hours or more; and
(3) create an extra or unusual hazard based upon consideration of the criteria set out in the answers above.

If a marine gathering organizer fails to obtain or comply with the permit, the Natural Resources Police may disband the gathering if necessary to protect public safety and maintain safe navigation.

  • View the Marine Gathering Permits regulation

  • View frequently asked questions FAQ's about Marine Gathering Permits

  • Download the application form

  • The application cost is $100 and is non-refundable. Please make checks payable to The Maryland Department of Natural Resources – NRP. Completed applications must be submitted with payment 45 days prior to the event. Send applications to:

    Natural Resources Police
    ATTN: Marine Gatherings Coordinator
    Maryland Department of Natural Resources
    580 Taylor Avenue, Bldg. E-3
    Annapolis, Maryland, 21401

    For more information contact:

    Captain David Larsen
    Adjutant to the Superintendent
    Maryland Natural Resources Police
    Office - 410-260-8884
    Fax: 410-260-8878

    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 to navigation
    • Illegal fishing activity
    • Public sewer leak or overflow
    • Oil or hazardous material spill
    • Critical area or wetlands violation
    • Suspicious or unusual activity