The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has announced that waterfront, or riparian, property owners can now apply for offshore blind and shoreline licenses to establish sites for hunting waterfowl or prevent others from licensing their property.

Under the new regulation, once a stretch of shoreline is licensed, no other person may receive a license for the same shoreline, whether or not the original licensee establishes a blind at that location. This means that riparian property owners will have exclusive rights to their licensed shoreline for hunting or to prevent others from licensing the same area.

Offshore blind site, photo by Jake McPherson, Ducks Unlimited

The licenses are available to riparian property owners or anyone who has been granted written permission from the owner. Applicants may license their shoreline for one year for $20 or three years for $60. The deadline for submitting paperwork and fees by mail is May 31, 2023.

Riparian landowners who miss the May 31 deadline may participate in the “open” offshore blind site licensing process that begins on August 1, 2023.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources hopes that the new regulation will promote responsible and sustainable hunting practices, while also giving riparian property owners greater control over their property.

The new regulation has been met with mixed reactions from the community. Some riparian property owners have expressed their support for the regulation, citing the need for greater control over their property.

Others, however, have raised concerns about the potential for conflicts between riparian property owners and hunters.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has stated that it will work to address any concerns raised by the community, and will monitor the implementation of the new regulation closely.

Applications and information on laws related to shoreline licensing for riparian property owners are available at the Department of Natural Resources website or by calling the Wildlife and Heritage Service at 410-260-8538, toll-free at 1-877-620-8367.

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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