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December 3, 2013

DNR Announces Winter Ice Breaking Operations

by Martha

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will have four boats available this winter to break up ice on the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. The cleared passageways allow for watermen, tug boat and barge captains, and marine crews to continue work through the season.

Heavy ice may restrict DNR’s ability to reach every area on a regular basis. Factors that may inhibit scheduled ice breakings include U.S. Coast Guard restrictions, weather conditions, tidal levels, and boats relocating to regions of higher priority. DNR encourages all commercial watermen to move their vessels near ice breaking boats or Natural Resources Police patrol boat stations prior to freezing conditions.

Requests for service may be faxed to John Gallagher of DNR Hydrographic Operations at 410-643-2341, or made by phone to 443-534-9610 or 410-643-6521. Email requests may be sent to jgallagher@dnr.state.md.us for specific instructions or emergencies. Requests will be coordinated by the Hydrographic Operations office and sent to individual boat captains.

Regional ice breaking locations and vessel specifics (subject to change) are located at dnr.maryland.gov/boating/ice_breaking.asp.

State ice breaking operations are financed through State’s Waterway Improvement Fund, the revenues of which come from the 5 percent vessel excise tax when a boat is titled in Maryland.

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