The Miami Herald is reporting that the mayor of Miami-Dade County has announced the closure of all marinas and boat ramps in the county, citing large gatherings of boaters on the water amid the coronavirus pandemic. Palm Beach County officials also banned recreational boating activities indefinitely, citing parties and other large gatherings on the water. All Florida state parks are also closed.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez announced the changes after boaters could be seen on social media gathering at the Haulover Sandbar.
“Effective immediately, all boat ramps at Miami-Dade County parks will be closed until further notice,” Gimenez said. “All marinas will be closed to all boating activities, with the exception of commercial fisherman who provide food for restaurants and markets. In addition, I am ordering the closure of all boat ramps and marinas countywide.”
Gimenez added that he felt “disappointed” when he saw the large gatherings of boaters out on the water.
“We are in a state of emergency, and I cannot stress enough the need for personal responsibility,” Gimenez said. “Current guidelines call for gatherings to be limited to groups of 10 or fewer. These sacrifices in our social lives are critical now in order to defeat COVID-19.”
Those who need to get their boats out of marinas or use boat ramps to haul their boat out and head home are being allowed to do so, county officials said.