Boating Information

2016 Boating Guidelines

The following marine guidelines will be in effect for this year’s July 3rd and 4th celebration on the Esplanade. Please note the closure time for the New Charles River Dam for July 4th, which changed last year (this year is the same as last year). Also please note that, for the third consecutive year, the fireworks barges will be located closer to the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge than they were prior to 2014. This will affect where boaters will be allowed anchor west of the barges. Boating Guidelines Map.

- Stay 100 feet from shore.

- Stay 1,000 feet from barges.

- The New Charles River Dam will close to up-river vessel traffic beginning at 7:45 p.m. on Monday, July 4 and will re-open at 2 a.m. on Tuesday, July 5. This is a change from previous years, when the closure began closer to 10 p.m. on the 4th. The change is being made to enable public safety officials to better coordinate marine response to the July 4th celebration.

- Boats must anchor outside the Safety Zone;

- East of barges, Safety Zone is marked by buoys and Public Safety vessels;

- West of barges, all vessels must anchor west of the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge. No boats will be allowed to anchor between the barges and the Mass. Ave. Bridge.

- Craigie Drawbridge at Museum of Science will not open after fireworks until 1 a.m. July 5.

- Vessels over 12’ in height must stay upriver of the Longfellow Bridge after the fireworks. Vessels over 12’ in height cannot clear the drawbridge.

- Boats will not be able to anchor within the restricted areas around barges or along the shoreline between Massachusetts Avenue and Longfellow Bridges.

- Boats will be allowed to transit the river in designated channels that will run along the Boston and Cambridge sides of the river until 8:15 p.m. on July 4. The channel will not reopen until after the fireworks.

- All Lagoons are closed to the public.

- Due to tidal conditions, longer than normal wait times may occur to pass downriver through the New Charles River Dam.

- All public docks between Longfellow Bridge and Massachusetts Avenue Bridge will be closed. No access of any kind will be allowed at these docks.

- The Massachusetts State Police will monitor Channel 16, and enforce all restrictions.

- The Charles River is a "No Discharge Area." Discharge of boat sewage or other waste is prohibited. Designatedpump-out facilities are located at The Charles River Yacht Club (Cambridge, right by MIT) and the Watertown Yacht Club. Please help keep the Charles River clean.