Boating Industry Works To Define Marine Businesses As Essential

Many states have been referencing the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s (CISA) guidelines on essential versus non-essential businesses as they issue stay home mandates and closure of non-essential businesses. However, marinas, marine service and repair have not been explicitly listed as essential, causing different interpretations among states.

In response to the updated guidelines and various interpretations, the recreational boating industry is sending a letter to CISA and applicable Governors requesting “marinas and marine service and repair” to be included as essential businesses. The coalition is making the request to be considered as an essential business for the following reasons:

  • Law enforcement access: many marinas and boat dealers store, service and repair law enforcement boats from the local to federal level, as well as provide slips and critical access to the water for law enforcement during times of emergency. In addition, towing and salvage services are important to maintaining safe and navigable waterways.
  • Public safety: if marina employees cannot consistently monitor the property, boats either in the water or stored on-site present a significant danger to the facility and neighboring properties, businesses and residences.
  • Liveaboard residents: families live aboard their vessels either in marinas or on mooring balls affiliated with a marina.
  • Gasoline availability: just as fuel for automobiles is essential, so too is access to fuel for those who launch their boats at ramps or have them moored behind their homes.
  • Safe activity for families: boating, when done with those from the safe household, while maintaining social distance practices is a good outdoor recreation activity.