Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation


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New York Safe Boating

Welcome aboard! New York State offers an abundance of scenic waterways for boaters including the Atlantic Ocean, Long Island Sound, the Hudson and St. Lawrence Rivers, lakes in the Adirondacks, the Barge Canal, the Finger Lakes, Great Lakes, and hundreds of other streams, lakes and rivers to enjoy. Boaters can escape on a relaxing cruise, fish a favorite cove, or embark on a family adventure exploring new waters, all while experiencing first-hand New York's incredible natural beauty.

The Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation provides the public with a safe and enjoyable environment for recreational boating. Our goal is to assist the boater in developing safe boating habits and maintaining a strong law enforcement presence on our waters.

When boating and fishing, State Parks and the Department of Environmental Conservation recommend New Yorkers to #RecreateLocal, avoid busy waters, and follow the guidelines on recreating and fishing responsibly in New York State. If an angler arrives at a parking lot and there are several cars, they should consider going to another parking lot. If an angler is fishing upstream, they should fish downstream of the other angler or consider fishing another day. Do not share a car, boat, canoe, or kayak with people not in your household while traveling to fishing or boating sites. Anglers fishing from boats should always be able to maintain at least six feet of distance between one another. For more information about the benefits of being outdoors safely and responsibly, go to

New York's waters remain cold throughout the spring. Life jacket wear is required through May 1 on pleasure boats less than 21 feet long and dressing in layers is recommended to avoid hypothermia. Boaters should be alert at all times and follow the rules of the nautical road. Under Brianna's law, all operators of motorized vessels must take a safe boating course and earn a safe boating certificate by 2025.

Trending Topics in Boating!

Brianna's Law

Brianna's Law

Brianna's Law requires all motorboat operators to complete a boating safety course. New age requirements begin January 1, 2020, with full compliance by January 1, 2025

Click here to view video of Governor Cuomo signing Brianna's Law

Click here to learn more about the new law

Standup PaddleBoarding

Stand Up Paddleboards (SUPs)

Stand up paddleboarding is one of the fastest growing watersports. The SUP is reminiscent of a surf board and is propelled by a paddler standing up.

SUP is considered a vessel when it is used outside of the surf zone or swim area.

A life jacket is required for each person on board a paddle craft, which include canoes, kayaks and SUP's, as well as a sound signaling device. A mouth whistle is acceptable and is easily attached to the life jacket. It is highly recommended that the life jacket is worn. The exception to wearing a life jacket is when paddling in the ocean surf zone as the life jacket may restrict the ability to swim under the waves. In addition to the required life jacket and whistle, a leash is a recommended piece of safety equipment if you are using a SUP.

Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention

Invasive species are non-native plants, animals, insects and diseases that cause harm to the environment, economy or human health. Aquatic invasive species can hitch rides on boats and other watercraft and unknowingly be transported from one body of water to another. As a boater, there's a lot you can do to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species. Before you launch and after you leave, it's important that you clean, drain and dry your watercraft and gear. In fact, it's a regulation in New York State.

Click hereLeaving New York State Parks to learn how you can help protect your waters from aquatic invasive species.

The 2021 Recreational Boating Report

Recreational boating in New York State is a $8 billion industry enjoyed by millions of residents and visitors alike.
This recreational boating report has been prepared in order to help us better understand why accidents happen while affording possible insights as to how to prevent them.

Other Boating Safety Organizations