Boating Info

Boating Information for Buzzards Bay

Related Pages:  Oil Spill Response


In 2000, all of Buzzards Bay was designated a boat waste No Discharge Area. Go to our boat waste pump-out page to see where you can pump-out your marine toilet (head).

 Tips for Environmentally Safe Boating

  • Do not top off fuel tanks.
  • Do report spills.
  • Place an oil absorbing “bilge sock” in your bilge compartment. Use the type that polymerizes with the hydrocarbons.
  • Check with marina operator as to what kinds of vessel maintenance are allowed.
  • Only use “green” cleansers on your boat to minimize damage of them spilling into the water
  • Do not scrape or sand your boat near the water, in a wetland, or in a parking lot where stormwater runoff will wash paint chips into surface waters.
  • Buzzards Bay is a no discharge area. Use holding tank pumpout stations.
  • Use shore-side trash cans
  • Dispose of waste oil, batteries, paints and cleansers at your towns hazardous materials collection stations, not in a public dumpster or barrel.


Important Numbers:


U.S. Coast Guard Station: Cape Cod Canal, Sandwich, MA 508-888-0020
U.S. Coast Guard Station: Woods Hole, MA 508-457-3253
Search & Rescue Emergencies: Cape & Islands – 457-3210
The Coast Guard Monitors Channel 16 (2182 kHz) & Channel 22 (157.1 MHz),
Call the Coast Guard on Channels 12 & 22


Barge travelling through the Cape Cod Canal.

Links to Boating and the Environment


Boat Safety Information



Massachusetts Boating and Recreational Vehicle Laws

Chapter 90B Motorboats and Other Vessels

Register Your Massachusetts Boat Online!
Also gives location of boat registration regional offices.

Mass General Law Chapter 91-10A: Assignment of Moorings

Inspector General’s report on case Favoritism and Private Gain in the Assignment of Boat Moorings in Harwich (400 kb pdf file)


Research and Look-up Data on a Boat or Vessel

NOAA Fisheries Documented Vessel Search By Name (fishing and other commercial vessels)

USCG Commercial Vessel Look-up Port State Information eXchange (PSIX)

Massachusetts Commercial Fishermen Permits (including vessel look-up)


Articles & Reports

MCZM newsletter article: Better Boating through Environmental Engines
Read the Buzzards Bay NEP’s May 2000 Report on BILGE SOCKS FOR BOATS
(This is a 435K PDF file and requires Acrobat Reader[TM])
BBP funds municipal oil spill training.
NBST article 7/23/00: Oil Spills in Buzzards Bay: Preparing for the worst

NBST article 7/28/00: Another Mystery Oil Spill in New Bedford Harbor

NBST article 8/5/00: Motor oil contaminates Clark’s Cove


Other Links

MA DEM Marine Theft Page

Buzzards Bay Boating Regatta

US Coast Guard – First District Web Site

NOAA National Data Buoy Center BUZM3 station data – Buzzards Bay, MA
Near real time wave, current, and other data.

Federal Anchorage Regulations for Buzzards Bay and surrounding areas.

Federal Navigation Regulations for Buzzards Bay and surrounding areas.

Federal Navigation Regulations for the Cape Cod Canal and approaches.

Recreational Boating & Fishing

New England Lighthouses Virtual Tour website (includes many Buzzards bay Light houses
Massachusetts Boating Law Summary
323 CMR 4.00: Operation of Personal Watercraft
Cape Cod Canal Regulations

signal flag code for Buzzards Bay