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Boating Information

2015 Boating Guidelines

The following marine guidelines will be in effect for this year's July 3rd and 4th celebration on the Esplanade. Please note that the only significant change from last year is the new location of the fireworks barges, closer to the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge. This will affect where boaters will be allowed anchor west of the barges, as described below. 

- Stay 100 feet from shore.

- Stay 1,000 feet from barges.

- The New Charles River Dam will close to upriver vessel traffic beginning at 7:45 p.m. on July 4th and will re-open at 2:00 a.m. on July 5th. This is a change from previous years. The change is being made to enable public safety officials to better coordinate marine response of the July 4th celebration. 

- Boats must anchor outside the Safety Zone:

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

- West of the 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 due to the new location of the fireworks barges, further west, closer to the bridge. 

- Craigie Drawbridge at the Museum of Science will not open after the 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 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. Designated pump-out facilities are located at The Charles River Yacht Club (Cambridge, right by MIT) and the Watertown Yacht Club.