LANSING, Mich — The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is now enforcing part of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's extended "Stay Home, Stay Safe" Executive Order.
Non-motorized boating, such as canoeing, kayaking and sailing, falls within the outdoor activities. But motorboats, jet skis or similar watercraft are not permitted for the duration of the Executive Order, which is currently set to expire at 11:59 p.m. April 30.
The DNR says any outdoor activity, including boating, must be done in a manner consistent with social distancing, and individuals should use only their own equipment to prevent the transmission of the virus through the touching of shared surfaces. In addition, persons not part of a single household may not boat together.
State harbors are closed through at least May 15. There are no services available, including bathroom buildings, electrical, fuel, pumpouts, etc. and no slip reservations can be made.
On Facebook, the DNR says it's "received many reports about the heavy use of boat launches across the state and the subsequent congregation of people at these launches in violation of social distancing requirements and in a manner that threatens public health. In addition, people who use motorized watercraft typically have to procure secondary services for their craft, such as parts and gasoline, that could unnecessarily increase contact with others and spread disease. The hope is that the prohibition on the use of motorized watercraft will reduce the movement of people within the state and potential contact among people, with the intent of slowing the spread of the coronavirus."