The Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Marine Trades Association of Maryland, Annapolis School of Seamanship, and the BoatUS Foundation for Safety and Clean Water are joining forces to offer free “Welcome to Boating and Fishing” clinics on May 6-7 at Sandy Point State Park’s boating ramps.

The two-day event will provide new and returning boaters and anglers with opportunities to learn from experts and view demonstrations on boat launching and safety equipment. Attendees can learn skills to stay involved, be safe, and enjoy Maryland’s waterways.

Credit: Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Free seminars and demonstrations will take place between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. each day. The schedule is available on the Department of Natural Resources website, and advanced registration is requested.

Several classes are available for purchase from Annapolis School of Seamanship, including Basic Powerboat Handling and Navigation, Docking, and Anchoring. However, space is limited for classes.

While most programs are free, some have additional costs. All attendees must also pay the park’s $5 entry fee when they arrive. Sandy Point State Park information is available on the DNR website.

According to Steve Vilnit, the department’s recreational fishing and boating director, the clinics offer “the perfect opportunity for novice boaters and anglers to learn about safe boating practices, fishing tips, and much more from seasoned experts.”

The clinics are part of Maryland’s ongoing efforts to promote boating and fishing safety and to encourage residents and visitors to enjoy the state’s waterways responsibly. Maryland boasts nearly 8,000 miles of shoreline and more than 500 public access points to its rivers, streams, and the Chesapeake Bay.

Maryland has also made significant investments in boating safety infrastructure. In 2019, the state launched a new online safety course that is required for all first-time boaters.

The “Welcome to Boating and Fishing” clinics are expected to draw large crowds, and attendees are encouraged to register in advance to secure their spot. Those interested in purchasing classes from Annapolis School of Seamanship should do so as soon as possible, as space is limited.

The event promises to be a fun and informative way to kick off Maryland’s boating and fishing season. With free seminars, hands-on demonstrations, and a variety of classes available for purchase, attendees are sure to walk away with new skills and a greater appreciation for Maryland’s beautiful waterways.


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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